Bengaluru: As tempers ran high at Belagavi, the border district between Karnataka and Maharashtra, leading to disruption of inter-state bus services, top BJP leaders from the two states engaged in a war of words whipping up emotions and vitiating peace.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, both BJP leaders and good friends, hurled barbs at each other over Belagavi, parts of which Maharashtra has always claimed as its own. The row exacerbated after the Shiv Sena, which symbolises the Maratha pride, ascended to power in Maharashtra.
Yediyurappa iterated Karnataka’s stand on Belagavi, and conveyed to his counterpart in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, that his government would not cede even an inch of land to the neighbouring state. “The chief minister (of Maharashtra) is trying to unnecessarily rake up sentiments of people in the border area for political gains. There is no question of giving away our land,” he said, while asking people in the border district to maintain peace and harmony.
Within days of taking charge, Thackeray has called the Marathi-speaking areas of Belagavi as “Karnataka-occupied Maharashtra” and demanded its liberation.
Source: Economic Times