Mumbai: Hours after the trucks from Maharashtra were attacked in Belgaum, the Nationalist Congress Party President and former union minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday in an ultimatum warned that if the Karnataka government does not intervene and stop attacks and harassment of the Marathi speaking people from the border areas, the situation may escalate.
‘’If the attacks on vehicles do not stop in the next 24 hours, the Karnataka government will be responsible for the situation,’’ he claimed. In a strong signal to the Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Pawar said that “If the injustice against Marathi speaking people does not stop in the next 48 hours, I will also have to go to Belgaum to support them increase their morale and boost their confidence.’’
Pawar, who is recovering from his eye operation, said that the MPs from Maharashtra should meet the Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the sidelines of the winter session of the parliament starting from December 7 to apprise him of the situation. ‘’Maharashtra has always shown restraint. But restraint also has its limits. If the situation is not brought under control, I will go to Belgaum,’’ he reiterated.
Pawar’s ultimatum came after activists of 'Kannada Rakshana Vedika Sangathan' pelted stones on trucks from Maharashtra truck at the Belgaum-Hirebagewadi toll booth. Some trucks of Maharashtra have been damaged in this stone pelting. That led to angry protests by opposition parties while Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to the Karnataka CM Basavraj Bommai.
“What happened at the Maharashtra Karnataka border is highly condemnable. This has been going on for the past few weeks. I have been associated with the border issue for many years. I had to face the caning myself," said Pawar.
It is time to take a stance
‘’Now is the time to take a different stance. It was necessary for the state government to take a firm stand in this matter. But that position is not taken. Due to the attacks today, an atmosphere of fear has been created in the border area. If attacks on vehicles do not stop in the next 24 hours, a different stance will have to be taken,’’ he said.
‘’ Since Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai laid claim over the villages in Jat tehsil in Sangli district and also on Solapur and Akkalkot, The Maharashtra Karnataka border dispute has flared up again,’’ he said. He further noted that a lot of people sniff that the timing of such statements and today’s attack were with an eye on the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections next year. He claimed that the controversial statements by Bommai are responsible for the ongoing controversy.
"If this controversy is to be stopped, the Chief Ministers of both the states should find a way through talks and coordination. Moreover, the Center should look into this issue,’’ said Pawar.
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