Police detained members of a pro-Kannada organisation after they staged a protest outside the Maharashtra Bank in Gandhinagar, Bengaluru on Friday.
The protest against Maharashtra was staged by Namma Karnataka Sene, a pro-Kannada organisation, as per ANI. This is just the latest development in the ongoing Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute which was rekindled last month and continued to escalate this week.
Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the central government cannot remain a mute spectator. If power is misused to destroy the idea of a language medium and movement, there is bound to be a reaction. But, the Centre has turned a blind eye to it, Pawar said addressing a meeting of the NCP.
The border row escalated into violence after vehicles from both states were attacked and damaged in Belagavi and Pune. Both states on Wednesday had suspended bus services to the other state partially, due to reports of damage and violence.
The BJP, which is in power in Karnataka and in a coalition government in Maharashtra came under fire from the opposition for escalation of the dispute. The Maharashtra government on Wednesday sought Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s intervention in resolving the current situation.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Fadnavis said he has sought Union Home Minister Shah’s intervention in the matter.
“Vandalism of vehicles from Maharashtra is not good. Such a situation between two states is not good. I apprised him (Shah) of what I spoke to the Karnataka CM yesterday and urged that he, too, should speak to Bommai. Shah said he will look into the matter," said the Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, talking to reporters separately, said he spoke to his Karnataka counterpart Bommai over the phone on Tuesday night and demanded strict action against those who vandalised vehicles bound for the adjoining state.
“Till the matter (border dispute) is in the Supreme Court, no law and order issue should be created which harms people from both states. (During telephonic talk) Bommai agreed to take action against perpetrators," said Shinde.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties continued to target the Shinde-BJP government over the border issue and prevailing tension in border areas.
The Congress alleged the border dispute with Karnataka is being stoked by the BJP under a conspiracy to “divide" Maharashtra and demanded Chief Minister Shinde convene an all-party meeting to explain the government’s stand.
The six-decade long dispute, concerning Belagavi and other border areas in Karnataka with sizeable Marathi-speaking population which Maharashtra laid claim to, came back to fore in November after Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai said that certain villages in Maharashtra’s Sangli district had passed a resolution to merge with Karnataka over water shortage issues.
His statement drew sharp responses from Maharashtra leaders, with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis saying that “not a single village from Maharashtra will go anywhere". The Maharashtra government then also submitted a plea in the Supreme Court regarding the issue of Belagavi.
(With PTI inputs)
Read all the Latest Politics News here