Belgaum puts BJP-Sena alliance under strain

Belgaum puts BJP-Sena alliance under strain

The flare-up in the vexed Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary dispute appears to have put leaders of the saffron alliance in a piquant situation with the Shiv Sena on Tuesday asking the state BJP leaders to make their stand clear on the issue.

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray demanded BJP central leadership rein in Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, whom he accused of using repressive measures to silence the protest of Marathi speaking population in the state under the BJP rule.

Thackeray, who was addressing the media, faced a volley of questions regarding conflict of interests between the two states vis-a-vis the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. He maintained that breaking the over two-decade-long bond between the partners was not the solution to the boundary dispute.

"I appeal to the BJP central leadership to rein in the Karnataka Chief Minister. The Maharashtra unit of BJP too should now make their stand clear on the inter-state boundary dispute," he said, adding the issue of injustice to Marathi people in Karnataka went beyond the ambit of the alliance.

Thackeray's demand for giving the status of Union territory to the disputed area of Belgaum in Karnataka almost coincided with the announcement by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the state legislature today when he told the House that he would press for it with the Centre.

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