Standing by the views expressed in his speech in Belgaum on April 7, state home minister RR Patil, on Wednesday, said that the entire state and all political parties in Maharashtra should support the Marathi-speaking people living close to the border in Karnataka.
The election commission has booked Patil under sections 153-A, 153-B, 500 of IPC and sections of the Representation of the People Act for his explosive speech. “The election commission has served me a notice and expressed its discontent over my speech. The commission has its constitutional status and I have high regard for it. I will take care that I don’t violate the code of conduct in future,” he said, while replying to a motion moved by the Shiv Sena in his support.
“After the Karnataka elections, even 4 to 5 seats of Marathi-speaking MLAs would prove to be crucial. I urge all political parties to stand united behind the Marathi-speaking people in the border area. I had expressed the sentiments of people from the state in my speech. I don’t mind getting arrested for it. I am ready to run the state home department from jail too,” he said.
Patil said that his speech in Belgaum was misinterpreted by the Karnataka government and the phrases used in Marathi were wrongly translated. He said that the sentiments in the speech were more important than the literal meaning of the words.
He also lambasted the BJP government in Karnataka for suppressing the rights of Marathi-speaking people.