Karnataka Minister Stokes Belgavi Row; Says 'District Belonged To Maharashtra Before Independence; Video Surfaces

Karnataka Minister Stokes Belgavi Row; Says 'District Belonged To Maharashtra Before Independence; Video Surfaces

Laxmi Hebbalkar's video in which the statement appears has gone viral on social media. While the Congress was silent on the controversial statement, the BJP hit back.

Rahul MUpdated: Tuesday, January 09, 2024, 09:53 AM IST
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Karnataka Minister Stokes Belgavi Row; Says 'District Belonged To Maharashtra Before Independence |

Karnataka's Minister for Women and Child Welfare Laxmi Hebbalkar has stirred up a controversy in the state with her statement that the border district Belagavi belonged to Maharashtra before Independence.

Hebbalkar had issued the statement while attending the Sixth Kannada Convention organised at Karadga Village in Belagavi District on Sunday. While describing the rich history of Kannada language and Karnataka state, she stated that Belagavi was part of Maharashtra before Independence.

Her video in which the statement appears has gone viral on social media. While the Congress was silent on the controversial statement, the BJP hit back.

Lawmaker SR Vishwanath demanded that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah must sack Hebbalkar for insulting the state. "Long ago, Belagavi was unified into the state of Karnataka. It is unfortunate that Minister Hebbalkar issued such a statement for vote bank politics. Hebbalkar has insulted 6.5 crore Kannada people. Belagavi belongs to Karnataka and that is why the government organises the Assembly session in Belagavi," he said.

No Necessity To Go Backwards: Former Dy CM

Former Dy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan stated that Karnataka was ruled by many kingdoms earlier and the state came into existence after unification. "At this stage, there is no necessity to go backwards. This is a political statement which is not required at this point of time. Belagavi belongs to Karnataka and there should not be any political conspiracy in this regard. The statement by Minister Hebbalkar won't get support either from Kannada or Maratha people," he stated.

Karnataka and Maharashtra have locked horns over Belagavi often as the district has a sizeable number of people speaking Marathi. The border district has also witnessed clashes between the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samathi, which has been demanding merger of Belagavi with Maharashtra, and pro-Kannadiga activists.

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