Sanjay Bandekar reportedly said that Karwar should be divided along the Kali

Asnotikar accused of diverting people’s attention

Kannada groups threaten to stop milk supply to Goa

Karwar: Different Kannada organisations in Karwar on Monday cautioned Fisheries Minister Anand Asnotikar and his father-in-law and the former minister of Goa, Sanjay Bandekar, against raking up the border issue and merger of Karwar with Goa.

Mr. Bandekar on Monday had said that Karwar should be divided along the Kali and the northern side of the city should be merged with Goa.

Accusing Mr. Asnotikar and Mr. Bandekar of trying to divert the attention of the people, Rama Naik, president of Karwar Kannada sahitya Parishat, said that it was a calculated move by the two to cover up all-round failure of Mr. Asnotikar in taking up development works in Karwar.

He said people speaking Kannada, Konkani and Marathi had been living peacefully in Karwar for the last several centuries. Merger of Karwar from Bombay State into Karnataka was final and irrevocable.

He wondered why Mr. Bandekar and other politicians of Goa repeatedly spoke about the issue and created tension between two States.

Madhav Naik, president of Karnataka Samrakshana Sangha, and Ganapati Mangre, a fishermen’s leader, criticised Mr. Bandekar for saying that no Minister from Karnataka and lorries carrying fish would be allowed to enter Goa if the sand issue was not resolved. They said that if Mr. Bandekar went ahead with his plan then various pro-Kannada organisations would block supplies of milk, vegetables and electricity to Goa from Karnataka.

Mr. Naik said that Mr. Asnotikar should immediately step down from the ministry and the Chief Minister should take note of the dangerous game being played by Mr. Asnotikar and his relatives.

Prabhakar Rane, former minister, said it was not an accidental statement made by Mr. Bandekar but a strategy that had been worked out to divert the attention of people from the developmental issues.