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Maharashtra CM’s backing for MES’ ‘black day’ stir irks Kannada bodies

The Maharashtra government has decided to send its government representative to take part in the Black Day observance by Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) on Karnataka Rajyotsava day.

The MES, which spearheads the movement for merger of Belagavi and other Marathi-speaking areas with Maharashtra, observes Black Day in Belagavi every year on November 1.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, speaking to reporters in Kolhapur on Saturday, said” The MES leaders have extended an invitation… we will positively respond to their demand.”

The Maharashtra government had long back moved the Supreme Court with a plea for merger of Belagavi and several border areas with Maharashtra on linguistic basis. The border dispute, however, was settled in 1967 when the Mahajan Commission in its report declared that Belagavi belonged to Karnataka.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil, during a meeting with pro-Kannada organisations, has assured that strict action would be taken against those who observe Black Day on Kannada Rajyotsava.

Eknath Shinde’s statements have evoked strong response from Kannada organisations. “His (Shinde) statements are provocative and uncalled for. It’s unfortunate that the people’s representatives in Karnataka have not bothered to react… The district administration must prevent Maharashtra leaders from entering Belagavi,” Ashok Chandargi, president, Kannada organisations action committee, told DH.

(Published 29 October 2023, 22:12 IST)

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