Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi on Wednesday warned that the state government would not tolerate any trouble to Kannadigas in Maharashtra over the Belagavi border issue.
"I want to tell the Maharashtra Chief Minister that the Karnataka government will not tolerate any trouble to Kannadigas in Maharashtra," he told reporters here.
His statement comes in the backdrop of Shiv Sena workers reportedly hitting the streets in Kolhapur on Sunday and burning effigies of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and stopping screening of Kannada films there.
The activists had also blackened billboards, having Kannada text, of some shopkeepers in Gandhinagar area.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had in December last year appointed ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Eknath Shinde as co-coordinators to oversee his government's efforts to expedite the case relating to the boundary dispute with Karnataka.
The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which has been fighting for the merger of 800 odd villages with Maharashtra, had recently submitted a memorandum of their demands to Uddhav Thackeray.
Maharashtra claims the border district of Belagavi was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, but is currently a district of Karnataka, on linguistic grounds.
Savadi, who hails from Belagavi, said the Maharashtra Chief Minister would do well to recall what his cousin Raj Thackeray had said in the past on the matter.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had said in October 2014 in Mumbai politicians from the state have never been serious about finding a solution to the dispute and the issue has always been used for politics.
The MNS chief had recalled that when MEK members had met him a few years ago, he had said he was prepared, if required, to meet the then Karnataka chief minister to discuss the issue and demand that there should not be injustice on Marathi speaking people living in Belgaum and nearby areas.
On December 30, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had accused Uddhav Thackeray of raking up the Belagavi issue again for political gains and declared that 'not even an inch of land' would be given away.