Bangalore: Karnataka today accused
Maharashtra of trying to "vitiate" peace by provoking people
living in border areas and asserted that the state government
is committed to protecting the interests of Marathi-speaking
people in the state.
"Marathi-speaking people have been living in amity for
decades in Karnataka. But the Maharashtra government and some
vested interests have been making attempts to project that
there is a border dispute between the two states and provoking
people in Belgaum. There are attempts to vitiate peace," Chief
Minister B S Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
Refusing to join issue with Shiv Sena leader Bal
Thackeray who wrote about it in an editorial in his party
mouthpiece `Saamana`, Yeddyurappa assured him that Marathi-
speaking people in Karnataka would face no problems.
"The Karnataka government is committed in protecting
interests of all linguistic minorities, including Marathi
speaking people," he said, adding the Maharashtra government,
as also Shiv Sena, had a similar responsibility to protect the
interests of people of Karnataka in that state.
"My attention has been drawn to an editorial by Shiv
Sena chief Bal Thackeray in Saamana. I wish to make it
categorically clear that the Karnataka government will never
encourage any anti-social elements or forces to target any
linguistic or religious minorities," Yeddyurappa said.
Though Karnataka viewed the border dispute involving
Belgaum as a `closed chapter`, it was being repeatedly raked
up, he said and pointed out that the Mahajan Commission report
was "final" on the boundary row.
"I am happy that the Centre has reiterated Karnataka`s
stand on Belgaum," Yeddyurappa said.
The Centre, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court
on July 7, had said Belgaum district in Karnataka cannot be
ceded to Maharashtra merely because it has a large chunk of
It also pointed out that reorganisation of states was
carried out in 1956 and 1960 on the basis of various criteria
and language was only one of them and not the sole factor.
Yeddyurappa also said he has instructed police not to
allow individuals or organisations indulge in violence and
that no support be given to such activities.