Belgaum Mayor, deputy reply to govt notices

The elected representatives were served notices for participating in Black Day observation on Rajyotsava Day.

In their reply, copies of which are available with the Deccan Herald, both Mayor Manda Balekundri and Deputy Mayor Renu Killekar have challenged the legality of the show-cause notices issued to them.

Both dared the government demanding to know under which provisions of rules notices were issued to them, as they were not informed of the provisions of the law in the notices.

Balekundri and Killekar, however, clarified that they were not opposed to the State or the Kannada language, and that they did get funds released from the BCC for Rajyotsava celebrations, conducted meetings of Rajyotsava committees and never spoke against the State. They claimed they had been to the Black Day rally of the MES only to hear the grievances of Marathi-speaking people and refuted allegations that they had shown disrespect to the State by participating in the anti-State rally.

“We did not demand merger of Belgaum with Maharashtra, but stated that the Karnataka-Maharashtra boundary row pending in the Supreme Court was expected to be resolved soon,” they said in their replies, and asked the government to drop the decision to initiate action against them.

‘State will initiate action’
Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar on Thursday said the government was serious about initiating action against Belgaum City Mayor Manda Balekundri and Deputy Mayor Renu Killekar for their participation in the MES protests recently.

Talking to reporters in Bangalore, Kumar said the Additional Chief Secretary of the department, K M Shivakumar, will shortly furnish a report with the responses of the local body leaders.

“The government will definitely initiate action against the two, as they have hurt the sentiments of the people of the State. We will legally examine the matter and then initiate appropriate action,” he added.

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