Five years ago since breaking ranks with the NDA to support UPA's Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray today appeared to be having second thoughts on the issue.
"Pratibha Patil is our President. She could not hang Afzal Guru in the last five years. Now, when you are demitting office, at least 'hang' the Karnataka Government which is anti-Maharashtra," Thackeray, who had backed Patil for the post as she was a Maharashtrian, said.
Thackeray's comments against ally BJP's Karnataka government came after it superseded the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti-controlled Belgaum city corporation for the second time in less than seven months two days ago, raising tempers across the border in Maharashtra. "After all, you (Patil) are going to settle in Maharashtra at the end of your tenure. A historic opportunity has been presented to you to repay the debt of Maharashtra," Thackeray said in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Belgaum mayor Manda Balekundri and deputy mayor Renu Killekar had participated in a Black Day programme organised by the MES last year in support of the demand for inclusion of Belgaum in Maharashtra.
"The Belgaum corporation was superseded because a bandh was observed against the Kannada injustice. What will happen if the Shiv Sena behaves in a similar manner with Kannada brethren in Maharashtra," Thackeray said, referring to the activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike vandalizing the chambers of the mayor and deputy mayor in Belgaum last year.
The "impotent" government in Maharashtra is not ready to extend even an iota of help to the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka, Thackeray added.