Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary row: Sena wants CM’s intervention

Mumbai, Nov 5 (IANS) Amidst reports of alleged high-handed tactics against the Marathi-speaking population in Karnataka’s Belgaum district, the Shiv Sena on Saturday asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene and resolve the issue.

Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said Fadnavis must take up the issue on a priority basis even as agitated Shiv Sainiks stopped buses entering Maharashtra from Karnataka and put up road blocks on the Bengaluru-Pune highway today.

Referring to the alleged atrocities against Marathi speaking people in Karnataka’s border areas, Raut said he would raise the issue during the winter session of the Parliament.

“There are unanimous resolutions on the issue by both houses of Maharashtra legislature. Now the matter has to be taken up even at the central level, and all parties must come forward for this,” Raut told reporters.

Warning that the party would take to the streets in New Delhi, he said the boundary dispute between the two states is already pending before the Supreme Court, yet Karnataka acts in a unilateral manner.

Kolhapur district Sena chief Sanjay Pawar said the manner in which Karnataka is targeting Marathi-speaking youths for taking part in the ‘Black Day’ protest in Belgaum on Karnataka foundation day on November 1, smacks of authoritarianism.

“This is not ‘lokshahi’ (democracy), but ‘thokshahi’ (authoritarianism) on the part of Karnataka authorities,” Pawar told media.

Meanwhile, agitated Shiv Sainiks stopped several passenger buses from entering this state at the boundary in Kolhapur on Saturday and ordered them to return to Karnataka.

Hundreds of passengers, including senior citizens were compelled to get down, cross the border and arrange alternate means of transport to reach their destinations even as local police were deployed.

The Sena is an alliance partner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA at the Centre and in Maharashtra.