Mounting pressure on its ally over the border row issue, the Shiv Sena on Saturday warned BJP that it would snap ties with it if its government in Karnataka continued to "torture" Marathi-speaking people.
"BJP government in Karnataka used force against Marathi people protesting the Assembly session at Belgaum, a border district, and arrested senior leaders like N D Patil," Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Ramdas Kadam said from Belgaum.
"Sena chief Bal Thackeray has asked me to convey to Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka that it would snap ties with the BJP in Maharashtra if the atrocities continue," he said.
His remarks came a day after Thackeray said his party was "ready to accept blows from friends (BJP) if atrocities against Marathi-speaking populace of Karnataka's border areas continue".
Reacting to the Sena posture, Maharashtra BJP President Nitin Gadkari said he was not sure what led Kadam to warn of snapping the over two-decade-old ties over the boundary row.
"I have said that BJP in Maharashtra is behind the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka and we feel that injustice against them should stop," Gadkari said.
"Snapping ties is their (Sena) right. If they want to take a unilateral decision, it is their prerogative," he said.
"We have already expressed displeasure over Karnataka Government's stance on the issue," Gadkari said, adding President Pratibha Patil, whose candidature was backed by the Sena, should intervene to resolve the over five-decade-old boundary dispute between the two states.