Even while asserting that Belgaum was integral part of Karnataka, he said at the convention that people of both the States were Indians and not citizens of rival countries. “We have a shared history and culture, apart from blood relations,” he added.
He cited examples of such harmonious relationships from history. He said the marriage of Chatrapati Shivaji took place in Bangalore and the Maratha warrior was given protection by Belavadi Mallamma after his defeat in a war.
He requested Union Minister of State for Railways, K H Muniyappa, to take steps for converting the Belgaum railway station into a world class station.
On the legacy of Belgaum, he said: “Mahatma Gandhi had come here for the 1924 session of the Indian National Congress, the only session presided over by him. The statue of the Mahatma should be installed in the station premises.”
He, however, didn’t mince words while criticising the manner in which the convention was organised. He said: “It is a state event and is not just for Belgaum. Everyone should be taken into confidence as it is not a political programme.”