A day after Chief Minister Ashok Chavan refrained from demanding Union Territory status for border areas in Karnataka in a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he was criticised by the Opposition in the state legislature on the issue.
While the Shiv Sena alleged Chavan had backtracked after making an assurance in the Legislative Council, BJP leaders said they were being falsely implicated for pressurising Chavan not to make the demand.
Chavan had led an all-party delegation to the PM in Delhi on Wednesday. The delegation drew Singh’s attention to atrocities committed in the border areas against Marathi-speaking people and protested against the affidavit filed by the Centre in the apex court.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Eknath Khadse said his reputation was being tarnished as it was being reported in the media that BJP leaders had pressurised Chavan not to demand UT status.
“We did not say or demand anything contrary to what was decided in the Assembly. Now, the CM should tell the Assembly what happened at the meeting and clear the air,” Khadse said. Sena leader in the Council Diwakar Raote too expressed disappointment. “The issue was not taken up though we pointed it out to the CM there. We did not create a ruckus in Delhi to show our unity on the issue,” said Raote.
Chavan he did not repeat the statement made in the Council, in the Assembly, so the resolution did not include the demand.