Sanjay Raut. File Pic
He also targeted the Eknath Shinde-BJP government terming it as "weak and helpless".
Talking to reporters here, Raut, a key leader of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, said Shiv Sena has been giving a befitting reply since the border dispute with Karnataka erupted decades ago.
He wondered what the Maharashtra government was doing amid escalating tensions in the border areas.
"Where is the chief minister who says he also faced lathis in Belgaum (Belagavi)? If you have faced lathis, you would not have watched the insult meted out to Maharashtra by Karnataka from the chair you are now occupying," Raut said.
Patil and Desai, appointed for coordinating the state*s border dispute with Karnataka, were scheduled to visit Belagavi on Tuesday and hold talks with activists of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) on the dispute.
"They are cowards. They got a letter not to come (to Belagavi) and they got scared," he said referring to Patil and Desai.
On Monday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he will ask his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde not to send his cabinet colleagues to Belagavi, as their visit may disrupt the law and order situation in the border district.
"They (the two ministers) should have shown some guts and gone (to Belagavi). Who would have stopped you? You have police protection. No stone would have been pelted at you because you would have gone there after doing the *setting* (arrangement)," Raut said.
He said Maharashtra has a "weak and helpless government".
"If Maharashtra explodes (in anger), then it will be difficult for this (Shinde) government. You have closed your eyes. Do they have self-respect for Maharashtra?Â¿ Raut asked.
He also questioned the use of talks between Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Karnataka CM Bommai, both leaders of BJP, as Shiv Sena is already giving a befitting reply.
He was referring to protests carried out in Pune by Shiv Sena (UBT) workers and slammed the state government for taking action against the protesters.
Activists of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction sprayed black and orange paints on at least three Karnataka state transport buses in Swargate area of Pune city. They also wrote "Jai Maharashtra" on these buses.
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