Minister says he will urge CM to ban MES

Srimanth Patil  

Textile Minister Srimanth Patil has said that he will urge Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to ban Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) for its anti-Karnataka stand and other such provocative acts.

He told journalists in Belagavi on Wednesday that it is the MES leadership that regularly approaches the Maharashtra Chief Minister and forces him and other Ministers to speak against Karnataka. “We have to ban the MES. It is our duty,” Mr. Patil said. Mr. Patil, a native Marathi speaker, refuted the charge by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that Karnataka government was committing atrocities on Marathi speakers.

He was reacting to Mr. Thackeray’s statements in a book release function in Mumbai where he referred to Belagavi, Karwar and other areas as “Karnataka occupied Maharashtra”. Mr. Thackeray had also said that the linguistic minority areas in Karnataka should be declared as Union Territories till the Supreme Court decided on the border dispute. He also accused Karnataka government of attempts at Kannada imposition and of torturing Marathi speakers.

He dismissed as meaningless Maharashtra government publishing the book, Maharashtra- Karnataka Seemavad: Sangharsh Ani Sankalp (Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute struggle and resolve). They write such books as they cannot write anything better, he said.

Meanwhile, district in-charge Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi said that there was no point in discussing issues such as release of a book by Maharashtra.

He said that he would not react to Mr. Thackeray’s demand for declaring all linguistic minority areas as Union Territories, till the Supreme Court gave a verdict on the boundary issue.

“Mr. Thackeray has failed as a Chief Minister on all fronts. His government has no development programmes to take credit for. That is why he is resorting to such provocative statements and acts. Shiv Sena is known for diverting the attention of the people from the main issues, when it fails to deliver,” he said.

He said that the media should play down such sensational issues. The people of Karnataka have positive regard for people who speak different languages. The Karnataka government treats all citizens equally, he said.

“The State government’s stand is that the report of the Mahajan Commission was binding on all the parties, including Maharashtra, and that would not change,” he said. To a question, he said that there was no need for an exclusive Ministry for border dispute resolution, as in Maharashtra. “All the 34 Ministers in our Cabinet are united on this issue. We are capable of handling the dispute, without the need for an exclusive Minister for the purpose. Our legal team is strong too,” he said.

Mr. Jarkiholi admitted the fact that this friend and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had attended the book release function. The former MLA from Khanapur in Belagavi Arvind Patil had also attended it. But that is the political practice in Maharashtra. “Utilising the border dispute for political ends is their agenda. Not ours. Our agenda is the overall development of the State,” he said.

Rajya Sabha member Iranna Kadadi said that the MES was no longer relevant in Belagavi district as the voters had rejected it. Voters have chosen national parties over this local party with a single agenda. Some MES leaders are resorting to such tricks, only to save their identity and political existence, he said.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 12:52:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/minister-says-he-will-urge-cm-to-ban-mes/article33678692.ece

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