'Karnataka bandh against Maratha body won't be allowed'

Karnataka bandh against Maratha body will not be allowed: CM BS Yediyurappa

Pro-Kannada organisations called the bandh on December 5 opposing the state government's decision to set up Maratha Development Board

BS Yediyurappa file photo. Credit: DH Photo

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said his government will not allow the "forced bandh", called by some pro-Kannada outfits on December 5, against its decision to set up the Maratha Development Authority.

Yediyurappa, who arrived in the national capital to discuss the expansion of his Cabinet with top BJP leadership, warned of action if the bandh is called.

"We have set up the Authority for the welfare of Maratha communities living in the state. A large number of people among them are poor and the Authority will focus on their welfare, " the chief minister told reporters here.

"The Authority is nothing to do with Maratha language," he said adding that "We will take strict action if the forced bandh is called."

The government''s decision to set up the Maratha Development Authority comes ahead of the announcement of by-election to Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, as well as Basavakalyan and Maski Assembly constituencies, which have a sizeable Marathi-speaking population.

Yediyurappa also lashed out at Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for "unnecessarily stoking" the border dispute between the two states.

He said the Mahajan Commission's decision is final.

Pawar had on Tuesday said Maharashtra's all-round growth and including Belgaum (Belagavi), Karwar and Nipani into the state were dreams of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

"Let's resolve to fulfil Balasaheb''s dream," Pawar had said.

Earlier in Bengaluru, some pro-Kannada organisations had called for Karnataka bandh on December 5 demanding withdrawal of the government proposal.