THE Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Shiv Sena (UBT) on Monday criticised the Shinde-Fadnavis government for its “U-turn” on the plan of two ministers visiting Belgaum to hold talks with the Bommai government in Karnataka on the border dispute that has been raging for nearly 60 years between the two states. The parties said the government was wilting under the pressure of Karnataka government.
Defending the Maharashtra government, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said CM Eknath Shinde will take a final call on the visit of the ministers.
“It is very surprising to see the Shinde-Fadnavis led Maharashtra government wilting under the pressure of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Reports clearly said that Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai were due to visit Belgaum after being appointed to coordinate with a legal team regarding the court case and hold talks on the border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka. But Karnataka CM Bommai asked them not to come keeping in mind the current situation of unrest at the border, a situation that he himself created by his unnecessary statements on the sub-judice border issue,” NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said on Monday.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) said the Shinde-Fadnavis government lacks courage to deal with the Karnataka government. “There is a popular sport in Maharashtra which is called Kabaddi. There is a middle line which separate the two teams that clash. The two ministers should at least touch that line on the border and return,” said spokesperson Sanjay Raut.
Reacting to the uproar over reported cancellation of the visit of the two ministers, Fadnavis said, “The two ministers were invited by local residents on the occasion of Dr Babasaheb (Bhimrao) Ambedkar’s death anniversary. Our opinion is to avoid any legal complications by arranging such a visit to the disputed areas. However, the final call on the ministers’ visit will be taken by the chief minister.”
Describing the government’s “U-turn” as baffling, the NCP asked if it not aware of the prevailing disturbance before they announced the visit.
Raut said, “The government lacks courage to take decisive actions. It has failed the people of border areas on this count. Even in case of the Governor who insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, this government has failed to take action.”