Shiv Sena ministers stopped on the Karnataka border
Sena ministers Diwakar Rawte and Deepak Savant were on their way to participate in the protest march against Karnataka’s ban on ‘Jay Maharashtra’ slogan.pune Updated: May 25, 2017 18:00 IST
Two Shiv Sena ministers were stopped by the Karnataka police from entering Belgavi on Thursday afternoon. The Sena leaders were on their way to participate in a protest march, organised by Maharashtra Eakikaran Samiti, against the Karnataka Minister Roshan Baig’s decision to ban the ‘Jay Maharashtra’ slogan.
The Shiv Sena leadership had assigned its two ministers, Diwakar Rawte and Deepak Savant, to participate in the protest march to express solidarity with the Marathi-speaking people in Belgavi and other villages on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border. The Belgavi district magistrate on Wednesday night had prohibited the entry of Sena leaders on grounds of law and order.
Rawte and other Sena leaders were stopped by the Karnataka police at the Kagnoil entry point. Maharashtra Health Minister Deepak Savant could not reach the spot, while Rawte was served with a notice and asked to not enter Karnataka.
A visibly upset Rawte and other Sena leaders returned to Kolhapur after the incident. Talking to media persons, Rawte condemned the Karnataka government for preventing him from entering the state.
“I had informed Karnataka government about my programme as a Maharashtra minister. They stopped a minister. I would have acted differently had I been entering as a Shivsainik,” Rawte told the media in Kolhapur, adding that he would raise the issue in the Maharashtra cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, uneasiness prevailed in Belgavi and other villages on the border of Maharashtra-Karnataka following Karnataka’s Urban Development Department (UDD) Minster Roshan Baig’s decision to ban the ‘Jay Maharashtra’ slogan. Shiv Sena has taken an aggressive stand against Baig’s decision with its activists resorting to protests in the bordering areas.
Baig had announced last week about the ban on Jay Maharashtra slogan and said that the elected representatives would be disqualified if they raised the slogan. The decision had created large scale discontent among the Marathi-speaking population in Belgavi.
Heavy police force is deployed at all the entry points on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border and also in Belgavi as a precautionary measure. The Marathi-speaking population of Belgavi have been fighting for the merger of their region with Maharashtra for over five decades.