January 29, 2021 3:15:01 am
After Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi demanded that Mumbai be made a part of Karnataka, Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress came together on Thursday to maintain that Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra and will remain an integral part of the state.
NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that Savadi’s statement should be ignored. “Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra and will remain so. He (Savadi) might have made the statement to appease the people of his state,” Pawar told mediapersons on Thursday.
He added that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has suggested that villages sharing a border with Karnataka be declared a Union Territory (UT) until the dispute is resolved.
“The dispute has no relation with Mumbai at all. There is no logic in his demand about Mumbai. The Centre should intervene and find a way out when two states are involved in such an issue. The way out should be found sensibly and not in a one-sided manner,” Pawar said.
Savadi had said that Mumbai should be made a part of Karnataka and urged the Centre to declare it as a UT until it is done. His remarks came in response to Thackeray saying on Wednesday that the disputed areas of the Maharashtra-Karnataka border should be declared a UT until the Supreme Court gives its final order on the issue.
Since the formation of the state, Maharashtra has claimed areas such as Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani, which are part of Karnataka, stating that the majority of the population is Marathi-speaking in these areas. The border dispute has been pending with the Supreme Court since 2004.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Savadi needs to understand the history of the dispute and his remarks should not be given any importance. “The fight is to protect Marathi language and culture… The law will take its own course but the Karnataka government should not forget that Maharashtra’s chief minister now is Uddhav Thackeray,” he added.
Raut further said that while there has been no harsh action against people from Karnataka residing in Mumbai and Maharashtra, it is not the case with people living in border areas under dispute.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant also criticised “BJP’s conspiracy” to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra and bring it under the Union government. “If BJP looks at Mumbai with a crooked eye, then it will have to pay a heavy political price in Maharashtra,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Office on Thursday re-released a 50-year-old documentary that highlights the linkages of Marathi and Maharashtrian culture to Belgaum.
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