Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress observed a black day to support the Marathi speaking population in border areas on Sunday, demanding for a united Maharashtra with Belgaum, Karwar and Nipani. The ministers wore black ribbons as a mark of solidarity and protested against the Karnataka government’s excesses on Marathi speaking people in these regions. November 1 happens to be Karnataka formation day.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is recovering from COVID-19, said, “Everyone in Maharashtra is actively supporting the struggle of our Marathi brothers in the border areas, including Belgaum. This fight is for all of us. This struggle will not stop until the Marathi speaking area joins Maharashtra.” He further noted that a united Maharashtra with Belgaum, Karwar, Nipani is their resolve.
Rajyotsava Day (formation day) is celebrated in Karnataka on November 1. Maharashtra Unification Committee (MUC) has been observing a black day on this day to protest against the Marathi speaking region not being released to Maharashtra since the reorganisation of the state in 1956. This year, however, the Karnataka government has denied permission to MUC to hold its agitation.
Against this backdrop, the entire cabinet of the MVA government had passed the resolution to observe black day to support the people of the border areas. Karnataka Deputy CM Laxman Sawdi claimed, “As long there is sun and moon, Belgaum will remain in Karnataka. It is an integral part of Karnataka.” Referring to the MVA ministers’ move to observe black day, Sawdi said they should not sit in Mumbai and speak about Belgaum.
State Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif retorted that Belgaum will be in Maharashtra before his term as deputy CM ends. “Karnataka government’s excesses on the Marathi speaking people will not be tolerated in the future. Karnataka is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Leaders from Maharashtra should tell them,” he viewed.
State NCP chief and Minister of Water Resources Jayant Patil said that the people of Maharashtra stand firmly behind their Marathi speaking brothers stranded in the border areas. “The case is pending in the Supreme Court. We expect Maharashtra to get this border area soon. However, the Karnataka government is doing injustice to the Marathi speakers in the border areas, which is unacceptable,” he noted.
Minister of Urban Development Eknath Shinde condemned the Karnataka government's excesses on Marathi people. Congress leader and Minister of Medical Education Amit Deshmukh wore a black mask and extended his support to the Marathi speaking people’s struggle.