With the border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra over Belagavi still persisting, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday accused the BJP of reaping political benefits instead of resolving the issue.
In a series of tweets, the Leader of Opposition said people were facing hardship owing to the controversy.
“It is in the DNA of @BJP4Karnataka to reap political benefits out of controversies. Belagavi border issue, which could have been resolved through negotiations, is now allowed to grow so that BJP can take benefits,” the Congress leader said.
Siddaramaiah said the people were facing problems as the transport departments of both the States have stopped the Belagavi-Maharashtra inter-State bus service. “People of both the States are anxious about the developments, & @BJP4Karnataka govt have to intervene & establish peace,” the former Chief Minister said.
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He further said the coalition government in Maharashtra has been trying to target Kannadigas residing in the neighbouring States and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai should immediately intervene, reach out to his counterparts in Maharashtra and protect Kannadigas.
“It is not just enough to claim it is a double-engine govt. @BJP4India should step up whenever it is needed to solve the crisis. This time it has failed to resolve the issue…,” the Congress leader said.
The border row was several decades old with Maharashtra claiming the merger of Belagavi with it on the ground that the district has substantial Marathi-speaking population.
Karnataka has refuted the claim by saying the issue has been settled long ago.
The border row once again flared up with the decision of two Maharashtra Ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai, who have been appointed by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to coordinate with their legal team to deal with the issue, to visit Belagavi on December 6.
Since then, Belagavi city and parts of the city bordering Maharashtra have seen protests on both sides.
Today too, there were protests in Gadag where the pro-Kannada organisation members staged demonstrations and reportedly burned an effigy of Shinde.