The Karnataka Kshatriya Maratha Maha Okkoota has condemned the Belgaum Mayor and Deputy-Mayor for skipping the Rajyotsava celebrations and instead participating in a ‘black day' rally organised by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti.

Okkoota president V.S. Shamasundar Gaekwad told The Hindu here on Monday that Mayor Manda Balekundri and Deputy-Mayor Renu Killekar had skipped Rajyotsava celebrations with “an eye on elections.”

“This is nothing but an election gimmick. The State Government must initiate legal action against them. We have urged the Chief Minister to dissolve the Belgaum corporation,” he said.

Mr. Gaekwad said Marathas and Kannadigas had been living peacefully in the State. “There are around 50 lakh Marathas in the State. We are as much Kannadiga as anybody else. The only difference is that we speak Marathi as well,” he said.

Grand celebration

The okkoota would celebrate Rajyotsava on November 9 at Maratha Hostel grounds, Bull Temple Road. The celebrations would be inaugurated by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and would see the participation of over 5,000 people from across the State, Mr. Gaekwad added.

‘Her no-show at Rajyotsava celebrations an election gimmick'