Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: Sanjay Raut dares Shinde govt to declare disputed area as union territory
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the ruling Eknath Shinde government in the state as he dared the chief minister to ask the Centre declare the disputed area between Maharashtra and Karnataka as a Union Territory.
"It is a fight for humanity," said Raut while speaking to reporters here and added, "Tell CM if he has guts then go to Delhi and ask the disputed area to be declared as a Union Territory".
Raut also alleged that the BJP government at the Centre is involved in the issue and said, "The Central government must be involved in all of this, otherwise why it is suddenly happening now?"
Issuing a warning at the Centre, Raut, who was recently let out on bail after the Enforcement Directorate arrested him in July, said, "If anything happens to Maharashtra, then the country's Home Minister will be responsible."
Raut said: "20 lakh Marathi people staying away from the state are demanding justice for the last 5 decades."
Slamming the Shinde government that wrested power from Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government on June 30 this year after a rebellion, the 61-year-old Rajya Sabha member said, "This government has no right to be in power for even a day. This government is cowardly."
Demanding CM Shinde's resignation, Raut reminded, "This is the Maharashtra of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Tell CM if he has guts then go to Delhi. CM Eknath Shinde should show his 'Bhai Giri' now, else should resign."
Raut also alleged that the current government's silence is weakening the state of Maharashtra. "Where are Maharashtra's Chief Minister and Deputy CM now?"
Raut proclaimed that the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) faction is ready to march to Karnataka, and added, "this is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's land and we are not scared".
"(Nationalist Congress Party chief) Sharad Pawar has already said this, and now I'm saying that we are ready to go to Karnataka. What will they do? Will they arrest me again? I dare them to do it".
Raut said: "I'm ready to die for my state. People have sacrificed their lives for the state. Why are the Ministers scared? The Ministers, who are too scared to go to the borders, we will take them along".
"We respect our country and the Constitution. We are only talking about rights," said Raut addressing the Kannadiga-Marathi dispute.
Raut slamming the CM stated, "We have an impotent CM. The CM is scared to address the issue. We will of to Belagavi and will take the CM along with us, we will give him protection".
"Karnataka should pay for the losses our state has suffered", said Raut further.
About the recent violence that erupted along the border, Raut requested the residents not to indulge in violence as the matter is in Supreme Court, and people from both sides would be affected by the dispute.
Notably, Raut had earlier said, "We are not going to give an inch of land to anyone and Shiv Sena is ready to fight the battle under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. We are ready to fight the battle of this new era Mahabharat."
Earlier Wednesday, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) suspended its bus services to Karnataka in wake of an alert from the police.
The State Transport Department confirmed that this has been done after a security alert from the police department that buses might be targeted and attacked inside Karnataka during the agitations related to the ongoing Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he would speak with Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the ongoing Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai and his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde also discussed the issue over a call on Tuesday and agreed that both states should maintain peace, law and order.
Bommai stressed on the harmonious relationship between the people of both states, saying that the border issue will be resolved legally in the Supreme Court.
The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka goes back to the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956. The then Maharashtra government had demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka.
Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states. The Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer 260 predominantly Kannada-speaking villages, but Karnataka turned down the proposal.
Now, both Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have approached the apex court to expedite the matter, which is still pending.