CM KCR says Raichur people want merger with Telangana, triggers row in Karnataka

Karnataka Congress MLA Priyank Kharge questioned the delayed response from the BJP government in the state, comparing it with the response to the Belagavi border dispute.
Telangana Chief Minister KCR, who said Raichur people want merger with Telangana
Telangana Chief Minister KCR, who said Raichur people want merger with Telangana
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Karnataka Minister of Textiles Shankar B Patil Munenakoppa on Thursday, August 18, termed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's remark on Raichur as politically motivated. At a TRS party event on Wednesday, KCR lauded the schemes launched by his government saying no other government in the country has them. He reportedly said the people in Raichur have been demanding that the district be merged with Telangana in view of the welfare schemes and development taking place in the neighbouring state.

“The Karnataka government has identified Yadgir and Raichur as priority districts. Now, a lot of development will take place there. Keeping in mind the push Raichur would get, the Telangana Chief Minister raised the issue … which is far-fetched,” Munenakoppa told PTI. “This statement is politically motivated, hence it does not require any reaction,” the minister added.

The Congress in Karnataka had launched an attack on the BJP government in Karnataka for not reacting or condemning KCR's statement. Congress MLA and former minister Priyank Kharge tweeted, “Dear @CMofKarnataka, I am disappointed that not a single statement from you or anybody in the Govt on CM KCR garu's claim that people of Raichur want to merge with Telangana because of their welfare schemes. It has been over 24 hours.”

“Why this stepmotherly attitude towards Kalyana Karnataka (KK) region? If it was #Belagavi border issue, entire Cabinet would have come out in defence, why not for us? Does BJP government consider us a part of Karnataka or not? What action have you taken against your MLA who had suggested merger with Telangana?” Kharge sought to know.

The BJP's Raichur MLA Shivaraj Patil said the Telangana Chief Minister should think of the welfare of his own state instead of talking about Raichur. He asked which government would allow even an inch of land to be given to another state, let alone an entire district. Sharing a video of Shivaraj Patil's statement in front of Karnataka Minister Prabhu Chavan complaining lack of development in the district, Kharge said why did the Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai or BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel not pull up the BJP MLA for such a statement in front of a Minister. “Your inaction has encouraged Telangana Chief Minister to boldly stake claim to Raichur. This is unacceptable BJP. Raichur belongs to and will remain in Karnataka,” Kharge said.

Patil told The Hindu that the Congress was trying to tarnish his image with a video from nearly two years ago, saying he has given clarifications over it in the past. Meanwhile, Congress State working president Eshwar Khandre, too, condemned the statement by the Telangana Chief Minister and said Raichur would always be an integral part of Karnataka.

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