Sanjay Raut dares Devendra Fadnavis to protest removal of Shivaji statue in Karnataka, says Shiv Sena will support
Belgaum district of Karnataka, which has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population, is the subject of a protracted boundary dispute between the two states.Updated: Aug 09, 2020 14:58 IST
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut took on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra on the silence over the removal of Shivaji statue in Mangutti village of Karnataka’s Belgaum district. Raut said that “conspiracy” by the BJP government in Karnataka to remove the statue in the night is “condemnable”.
The Sena leader challenged the state’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis to lead an agitation to Belgaum over the district and promised support from the Shiv Sena. Raut said that days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid respects to the Maratha warrior king during the bhoomi pujan of Ram temple, the same party’s government conspired in the dark of the night to remove the statue.
“The manner in which the Karnataka Police removed the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is condemnable. Nobody from Maharashtra’s Opposition party is ready to talk on it. Prime minister Narendra Modi paid respects to Chhatrapati Shivaji during the foundation laying ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya. The same party’s government in Karnataka removed the statue in the night by switching off the lights. Maharashtra government should take serious note of this incident. Without indulging in politics, the Opposition party in the state should be taken in confidence. If needed, we are ready to go to Belgaum and agitate under the leadership of the Opposition leader. Ask him, if he is ready,” Raut told reporters in Mumbai.
Belgaum district of Karnataka, which has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population, is the subject of a protracted boundary dispute between the two states.
On Saturday, Sena leader and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde demanded that the Karnataka government reinstate the Shivaji statue.
In a letter to Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, Shinde, who is coordinator minister for border areas along Karnataka, claimed that a life-size statue of the warrior king was removed at Mangutti village by the police and district authorities. The statue had been installed with the permission of the gram panchayat, but the administration removed it deliberately, the minister claimed, demanding action against the officials.