Mumbai: Attacking the BJP government in Karnataka over the border row, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Friday said chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is heaping “grave atrocities” on Marathi people in the neighbouring state.
“Chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was accorded a red-carpet treatment when he visited Mumbai. The same chief minister is heaping grave atrocities on Marathi people in Karnataka,” Thackeray said in an editorial comment in Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“Marathis are being assaulted with sticks and guns and beaten up like cattle. If Karnataka government wants to display its masochism by breaking heads of Marathi people, it should remember that Maharashtra is the land of Shivaji Maharaj.
“We are happy that Yeddyurappa was behind the ‘lotus’ blooming in the South. But why is he bent on massacre of Marathi people?” he asked.
“We are ready to accept blows even from friends if the atrocities continue,” Thackeray quipped.
Recalling Yeddyurappa’s remarks that in Mumbai he felt like being in Mysore due to presence of lakhs of Kannadigas, Thackeray said, “Why don’t you apply the same logic in your state and stop tormenting Marathi people?”
“A senior minister accompanies terrorist like Masood Azhar to Kandahar. Attempts are made to stall Afzal Guru’s execution in Parliament attack case. In this country, terrorists get justice but Marathi people who have been struggling for the last 60 years in a democratic manner get sticks and bullets,” he claimed.
On fielding of former union home minister Shivraj Patil for the post of president, Thackeray said, “We said that he won’t get Sena support just because he is a Marathi. We said he should first tell us what he did for Marathi people in Karnataka’s border areas.”
Thackeray’s comments came as the nine-day session of the Karnataka Legislature, commences at Belgaum on Friday.
The session is being held in the backdrop of protests from the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) which is seeking merger of 856 villages and towns of Karnataka, including Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani, with Maharashtra.
“We implore L.K. Advani to save Marathi people from the ‘kamlabai´ (BJP) gone wild in Karnataka,” Thackeray said.
“Pandit Nehru and his ‘gang’ wanted revenge against Maharashtra and let Karnataka gobble up 20 lakh Marathis,” Thackeray said.
“Marathi people are waging a lonely struggle in Karnataka and the eight crore people in Maharashtra are watching it mutely like impotents,” Thackeray said, adding that 69 Shiv Sena workers have so far laid down their lives for the cause of the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka.