Maharashtra BJP against Union Territory status for Belgaum

Maharashtra BJP against Union Territory status for Belgaum

Union Territory status means Central rule and since the Central government's stand over the years has always been pro-Karnataka, the demand for Union Territory will not serve any purpose, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse told reporters here.

The BJP's statement comes on a day when its ally Shiv Sena Shiv said it would move a breach of privilege motion against Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for not conveying the Legislative Council's resolution on the boundary dispute with Karnataka to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a meeting recently.

"The present Law Minister is a Kannadiga, Veerappa Moily. It is like handing over the entire disputed region to the Centre, which is not sympathetic to Maharashtra," Khadse said.

Maharashtra BJP demands that the 865 villages, including Belgaum city be transferred to the state without any pre-conditions, he said.

Khadse denied reports that the demand for Union Territory status for the disputed areas was not included during the meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi yesterday, since the BJP, and he specifically, were opposed it.

"It was a unanimous decision to stick to the resolution passed in the Legislative Assembly, that the Prime Minister intervene to stop atrocities against Marathi speaking people, demand a human rights probe into the police atrocities and the Centre remain neutral in the dispute, he said.

"Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and all leaders from different parties who were in Delhi yesterday did not mention the demand for Union Territory status. It was decided to stick to the Legislative Assembly resolution," Khadse said.

Everybody present during the all-party meeting with the Prime Minister spoke unanimously in one voice, Khadse said.

He said he had spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to express the state BJP's resentment over the police lathicharge on Marathi speaking people in Belgaum.
The BJP leader dared the Congress to ask its Karnataka unit to support the Marathi speaking people of Belgaum.

"Just like we are all united on the border row, all political parties in Karnataka are vehemently against giving the 865 villages to us," he claimed.

Earlier, speaking in the Legislative Assembly, he described as "baseless" reports in a section of the media that the BJP and especially himself had opposed the demand during the meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi yesterday.

He demanded that Chief Minister Ashok Chavan clarify on the floor of House and remove misunderstandings among the people of the state on this issue.

"When I raised the issue in the morning, the government said that Chief Minister will make a statement on the meeting with Prime Minister in the House today," Khadse said at the fag end of the day's proceedings.

Revenue Minister Narayan Rane informed the House that the Chief Minister had to leave the Cabinet meeting mid-way, since his mother-in-law passed away.

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