Mumbai: Hitting out at the Maharashtra ministers in Union cabinet, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Friday said they should quit to protest against the Central Government`s stance in Supreme Court on Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
"No minister from Maharashtra in the UPA government has the daring to resign on the issue of Maharashtra`s pride," Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece `Saamana`.
"At least give hollow threat to resign... carry resignation letters in your pockets," Thackeray said, adding "the border dispute between the two states has been hanging
fire since the last 50-55 years due to Congressmen in Delhi."
"For Sharad Pawar, cricket is dearer than Maharashtra. Murli Deora belongs to Ambani and oil companies...Praful Patel belongs to rich capitalists," he said.
Thackeray termed as "foolish" Chief Minister Ashok Chavan`s statement that there was political will to resolve the row.
The Sena chief`s comments came after the Centre, in reply to Maharashtra`s six-year-long claim over Karnataka`s Marathi-speaking districts like Gulbarga and Belgaum, told the
Supreme Court that just because people in the border districts talk Marathi, it is not ground enough for the areas to be appended to Maharashtra.
The Centre`s reply was to Maharashtra`s 2004 affidavit and its application in 2009 claiming jurisdiction over 814 villages in Belgaum, Karwar, Bidar and Gulbarga districts in Karnataka that it said had majority Marathi-speaking people.
"The transfer of certain areas to then Mysore (now Karnataka) was neither arbitrary nor wrong as claimed by Maharashtra," the Centre`s reply has stated.
"It is submitted that the language of the people has been one of the criteria, but not the sole criterion for inclusion of any area in a state," it said.
Meanwhile, addressing a rally here today, MNS chief Raj Thackeray said the Central government has always been anti-Maharashtra.
"Why don`t our MPs come together on the border issue," Raj said, at a function held to celebrate MNS railway union`s third anniversary in Matunga.
"Why does Maharashtra have to fight always on various issues, be it the border dispute or its share of river waters," he added.