Newly appointed Maharashtra BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar on Sunday said that controversy over Mayoral elections in Belgaum was a result of “administrative mistake”.
“It was administrative officer’s mistake,” said Mungantiwar, when asked about the controversy, during a media interaction here at the ongoing state BJP convention.
Kannada-speaking Ningappa Nirwani was elected unopposed as the Belgaum mayor after the candidature of six Marathi-speaking corporators were rejected citing spelling mistakes and wrong information in their nomination papers.
The issue figured in the Maharashtra Legislature too and the Assembly and Council were adjourned for 10 and 15 minutes respectively as a mark of protest against the injustice meted out to Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka.
Shiv Sena activists had staged demonstrations in front of the hotel where Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had put up during his recent visit to Mumbai, protesting the ‘forcible installation’ of a Kannadiga mayor in Marathi-dominated Belgaum city.
Mungantiwar, while speaking in the Assembly, had asked the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan to lead an all-party delegation to the Prime Minister on the issue. Mungantiwar said the state BJP had already passed a resolution, seeking inclusion of Belgaum in Maharashtra.
The row over Belgaum, between Maharashtra and Karnataka, puts state BJP in an awkward position, as the party itself is presently ruling Karnataka.
Asked whether a section of BJP favoured forming alliance with MNS instead of Shiv Sena, he said, “there is no such proposal, as far as I know.”
Strengthening the BJP in the state was his priority, the leader added.