Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said today that Mumbai belongs to the state and “not to anyone’s father”, strongly condemning the “make Mumbai a Union Territory” remark by Karnataka minister J Madhu Swamy. Maharashtra, he said, will write to Karnataka and Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the issue. Union minister Shah will be requested to reprimand such “motormouths,” he added.
Amid the raging boundary dispute, Mr Madhu Swamy had made a strong attack on Maharashtra in the legislative assembly.
“It is being said that they (Maharashtra leaders) have taken a decision and said that Belagavi should be declared a Union Territory, I want to tell those people that there are two or three such cities in the country which can be made Union Territories… Mumbai is the top of them. It was like a Union Territory during Mumbai or Bombay presidency… if those people want the good of the country, then show a big heart and announce that Bombay will be made a Union Territory,” he had said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai said, “we will not give even an inch of our land”.
Speaking in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today, Mr Fadnavis said the state’s feelings will be conveyed to the Karnataka government and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra and not to anyone’s father,” Mr Fadnavis was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India. “We will not tolerate anyone staking claim over Mumbai and we will put forth our feelings before the Karnataka government and Union home minister,” he said, reported PTI.
Leader of the Opposition Ajit Pawar had flagged the issue, naming the Karnataka minister. “(Bharatiya Janata Party MLA) Laxman Savadi said Mumbai belongs to Karnataka and has rubbed salt on the Marathi people’s wounds,” he had said.
At a meeting between the chief ministers of the two states with Amit Shah earlier this month, it was decided that no fresh claim would be made by either party while the matter was pending in the Supreme Court, he said.
“The comments by Karnataka MLAs or the Karnataka Congress president are contrary to what was decided. We will not tolerate any claim staked on Mumbai. We condemn this,” Mr Fadnavis said.
The Karnataka leaders’ reaction came after both Houses of the Maharashtra legislature had unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday to “legally pursue” the inclusion of “every inch” of the land of Belgaum, Karwar Bidar, Nipani, Bhalki cities and the 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka into the western state.
Mr Shinde, who had moved the resolution, also condemned the remarks by Karnataka leaders.
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