NCP chief says time to take a stand in situation on Maharashtra-Karnataka border
Sharad Pawar. Pic/PTI
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday blamed Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for the “worrisome” situation in the border areas with Maharashtra and warned the state’s “patience” will take a different turn if attacks on vehicles entering the southern state from Maharashtra are not stopped in 24 hours.
He said the Karnataka government and the Centre will be responsible if law and order deteriorates. Pawar also said the time has come to take a stand in view of the situation in the areas on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border. “Maharashtra has taken a stand of observing patience and it is still ready to do that. But even that has a limit. In 24 hours, if the attacks on vehicles are not stopped then this patience will take a different path and the responsibility will be completely on the Karnataka chief minister and the Karnataka government,” Pawar told reporters. Amid a raging border row between the two states, a video showed some people throwing stones at vehicles entering Karnataka from Maharashtra near a toll booth at Hirebaugwadi in Belagavi of the adjoining state.
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Pawar also referred to statements made by Bommai and said conscious attempts were being made by the Karnataka CM for the past few weeks to take the situation in a different direction. Pawar also slammed the Centre and Eknath Shinde-BJP government for being “mute spectators”. “Time has come to take a stand after seeing what is happening in border areas. The situation there is worrisome,” Pawar said. He said the Centre cannot be a “mute spectator” if the law and order situation deteriorates. Pawar said MPs from Maharashtra will meet Union Home minister Amit Shah to ensure normalcy is restored. “But Karnataka CM gives provocative statements, and if attacks by his associates continue then it is a jolt for the unity of the government. If someone takes law and order in their hands, then the responsibility is with the Karnataka government and Centre,” he said. Bommai recently sought merger of “Kannada-speaking” areas in Maharashtra’s Akkalkot and Solapur and had also said some villages in Jat taluka in Sangli district wanted to join the southern state.
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