Udayavni Special

Protests erupt over Uddhav’s statement on border issue


Team Udayavani, Jan 18, 2021, 4:36 PM IST

Bengaluru: Protests erupted in parts of Karnataka on Monday including in the district headquarters city of Belagavi on Monday in a strong condemnation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s statement on the sensitive border issue.

Thackeray said on Sunday his government is committed towards incorporating into the state the areas of Karnataka where Marathi-speaking people are in majority.

Maharashtra claims Belagavi (earlier called as Belgaum) and some other areas, part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency but currently in Karnataka, on linguistic grounds.

Maharashtra claims certain areas, including Belagavi, Karwar, and Nippani which are part of Karnataka, contending that the majority of the population in these areas is Marathi-speaking.

On Monday, pro-Kannada organizations held demonstrations and burnt Thackeray”s effigy in parts of the State. A few pro-Marathi activists led by local units of Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti had organised the ”Martyrs Day” in Belagavi on Sunday.

They demanded merger of Belagavi, Karwar, Nippani, Bidar and Bhalki with Maharashtra.

Thackeray’s statement came on a day when Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Yediyurappa along with his cabinet colleagues and BJP legislators were present in Belagavi bordering Maharashtra to commemorate the victory of BJP backed village panchayat members in the recent elections.

Lashing out at Thackeray, JDS leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said, “Looking at his tweets, it appears like a statement issued by a terrorist.” In his tweets, Kumaraswamy likened Thackeray”s statement with Chinese expansionism.

“Uddhav Thackeray”s irresponsible statement that ”Karnataka occupied territories will be annexed to Maharashtra” sounds like Chinese expansionism. Such expansionism will jeopardize the harmony among states formed on the linguistic ground,” Kumaraswamy said in a statement.

Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, and several others condemned Thackeray”s statement.

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