Centre biased towards Karnataka: Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai: Kicking off a potential storm, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday accused the Modi government at the Centre of ‘siding’ with neighbouring Karnataka on the ongoing boundary dispute between the two states.
“The Centre is the guardian of all states in the country… The matter (Maharashtra-Karnataka border disputes) is in the (Supreme) Court, and the Centre should put forth the arguments of both the states,” Thackeray said.
If any side in the dispute is in the wrong, then it is the duty of the Centre to inform the Court accordingly, Thackeray said in his first ever interview after taking over as Chief Minister on November 28.
“However, we are seeing that in the past five years, the Centre is putting forward view only on behalf of the Karnataka government… This is shocking. We need to take some steps in the matter and we will definitely initiate correspondence (with the Centre) on this issue,” Thackeray declared.
Thackeray pointed out that though the matter is ‘sub-judice’, the Karnataka government is “committing atrocities” on Marathi-speaking people living in Belgaum, Karwar, Nipani and other disputed areas on the state border.
The decision would be taken after consulting the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance partners, and a two-Minister committee comprising Sena’s Eknath Shinde and NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal will be set up for the purpose, he indicated.
Since he took over as CM, Thackeray has held a series of meetings from different stakeholders, parties and senior legal experts like Harish Salve on the issue, and urged all political parties in the state to work and ensure that the Marathi-speaking people of Karnataka border areas get justice.
Last month (Jan 2020), Thackeray had stoked a row when he labelled the disputed areas as ‘Karnataka-occupied-Maharashtra’ after which a livid Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa had vowed that “not an inch of land” would be given to Maharashtra.
When Sena MP Sanjay Raut had visited Belgaum for an event last month, he was permitted to attend it with conditions that he would not speak anything on the border-dispute between the two states.