Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 28 (ANI): Condemning Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's statement of approaching the Supreme Court to declare Belgaum area as part of a Union Territory, KS Eshwarappa, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Karnataka, said that Thackeray was making such statements as 'his popularity is dipping'.
Speaking to the media, Eshwarappa said, "The CM's (Thackeray) popularity is dipping, which is why he is making such statements. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, we all are brothers. We condemn whatever the Maharashtra CM has said. Kuvempu had said all states are part of India and should live in harmony".
Another BJP MLA Shashikala Jolle said, "What is this Maharashtra CM is saying? This way Karnataka can claim Mumbai and Solapur as ours. We should stay in harmony. We have people from their state here and people from our state live there so what is the issue?"
This comes in support of the Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi's statement that the Central government should declare Mumbai as a Union Territory.
"Earlier, we (parts of Belagavi) were a part of Mumbai region. My demand and the demand of the people in this region is that Mumbai be attached to Karnataka...I demand that the Central government ensure that Mumbai should be declared a Union territory. The issue will be resolved once we demand Mumbai," Savadi said.
Yesterday, Thackeray accused the Karnataka government of deliberately changing the name of the disputed Belagavi district to 'Belgaum' while the matter is in court, and threatened to make it a part of Maharashtra.
The dispute began after the States Reorganization Act of 1956 made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay State (formerly part of erstwhile Bombay Presidency) a part of then Mysore state.
The issue of the disputed border area has been pending in the Supreme Court for several years.
Belagavi, Karwar, and Nipani are a part of Karnataka and have Marathi-speaking people. Right from the beginning, Maharashtra has asserted its claim over these districts while the Karnataka government has opposed the assertion. (ANI)