Chavan to urge K`taka govt to drop FIR against RR Patil
Mumbai: Terming the registration of FIR against Home Minister RR Patil by Karnataka police as "wrong action", Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said he would speak to his counterpart from the neighbouring state requesting him to drop the charges.
Chavan was intervening in a impromptu debate in the Legislative Assembly here initiated by Labour Minister Hassan Mushrif condemning the Karnataka government on booking Patil for his alleged "provocative" speech on the Belgaum issue.
He said the action taken by Karnataka police was wrong and he would speak to the Chief Minister requesting him to drop the charges against Patil.
"If the State Legislature wishes, I am not averse to meeting the Prime Minister again leading an all-party delegation on the boundary dispute," he told the House.
The FIR was filed against Patil on April 10, by Karnataka police for promoting enmity between different groups through his speech on Belgaum, a bone of contention between the two states.
According to Karnataka police, the FIR was filed for "provocative utterances" by Patil at a function organised in Bangalore to celebrate the birthday of Kiran Thakur, leader of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) and editor of Marathi daily "Tarun Bharat".
The FIR was registered under Sections 153(A) of IPC for provoking and creating disharmony between communities on the basis of religion, race, place of birth and language under the Representation of People Act.
Mushrif said Karnataka government has over the years suppressed the voice of the Marathi-speaking people in 765 border villages including Belgaum and Karwar.
Subhash Desai (Sena) said the FIR was not just an insult of R R Patil but that of the entire state.
"We will not tolerate this. We should meet the Prime Minister again and reiterate our demand that the disputed areas be declared as Union territory till the Supreme Court settles the issue," he said.
Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse expressed full support to the struggle of Marathi-speaking people in the border areas and supported the demand for declaring the disputed areas as Union territory till SC resolves the issue.
PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal charged that filing false cases against Marathi leaders is not new in Belgaum. "Attempts have been made earlier as well to supress voice of the Marathi-speaking people," he said.
Earlier, members in the Legislative Council today condemned the FIR against Patil and demanded that a censure motion be moved against the Karnataka government.
In his speech, Patil had allegedly made provocative remarks while recalling the incident when the then Belgaum Mayor, Vijay Pandurang More, was attacked in Bangalore several years ago for a resolution by the civic body seeking merger of Belgaum and several other Marathi-speaking areas with Maharashtra.
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