In a tit-for-tat, pro-Kannada outfits have asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to send two Karnataka ministers to Akkalkot, Jath, Pandharpur and Solapur areas of Maharashtra to discuss issues with Kannada people there.
The demand was made by Ashok Chandaragi, President of the Belagavi District Action Committee of Kannada Organisation, while raising strong objections to the proposed visit of Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai to Belagavi on December 3. The two ministers have been invited by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) to discuss the border dispute.
The visit of the Maharashtra ministers hangs in the balance as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP law and order) Alok Kumar was quoted in the media as saying that the two Maharashtra ministers would not be allowed to take up activities “that would create law and order problems”.
Earlier,Mr. Bommai reiterated in Delhi that he would soon convene an all-party meeting to discuss the inclusion of 42 villages in Jath taluk of Sangli district in Maharashtra.
“For decades, these villages where Kannada is predominantly spoken, have been seeking to merge with Karnataka,” Bommai said. “Locals are fed up with the lack of water. I will present this case at the all-party meeting and seek the opinion of all political parties in the state besides legal experts. We will then decide on the next course of action,” the CM was quoted in the media.
On Opposition leader Siddaramaiah’s statement asking why the state government has not taken steps to include villages in Maharashtra as desired by the people there, Bommai said it is a “political statement”.
“When he [Siddaramaiah] was chief minister, a similar resolution was made; why did he not attach these villages then?” the CM asked. “To attach parts of another state, legal aspects have to be considered. I’m a responsible chief minister,and everything has to be done within the constitutional and legal framework.”
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