Saturday, July 17, 2010


17 July 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute dominated political space here on Saturday with Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa pledging not to compromise on security of the "linguistic minority" of the Marathi speaking people in Belgaum region even while Maharashtra Chief Ministe Ashok Chavan led a Congress delegation to Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister to complain about repression and police atrocities to these people in the disputed areas.

Addressing a Press conference after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani on the illegal mining that rocked Karnataka whole of this week, Yeddyurappa asserted that the Belgaum dispute is already settled by the Mahajan Commission and what remains for the Centre to implement its report.

He faulted the Maharashtra leaders trying to create "confusion unnecessarily where there is no dispute" as there is full harmony and Marathi and Kannadiga people in the Belgaum region have been living like brothers for centuries. Why create the divide when we all are first Indians and then only Marathi, Kanadiga, Tamilians or Malayalis, the Karnataka CM affirmed.

He also seized the opportunity to express concern over a Kannadiga beaten up by the Shiv Sena activists in Kolhapur on Friday, saying this should not have happened. 

The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee delegation led by Chief Minister Chavan urged Sonia Gandhi to advise the Karnataka Government to refrain from repression of the Marathi-speaking people and maintain status quo until the Supreme Court verdict on the border dispute.
They also sought an inquiry into the human right violations in the disputed areas.

The memorandum submitted by them chronicles happenings so far on the border issue. Chavan later told reporters that Sonia Gandhi assured the delegation to take up the matter with the Prime Minister and Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Congress leaders from Karnataka also thronged the capital and called on Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Chidambaram but they did not touch the Belgaum dispute as they remained focused  to press for a CBI probe into the alleged illegal mining scam in their BJP-ruled state and called for dismissal of the state government if Yeddyurappa does not resign on his own.

The delegation, which also met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, included AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Ghulam Nabi Azad, PCC chief R. V. Deshpande, CLP leader Siddharamaiah, Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, K. H. Muniyappa and another AICC general secretary B. K. Hariprasad.


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