As the border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra escalated, the Maharashtra Ekikarana Samithi (MES), a political outfit in Karnataka waging a battle for unification of Belagavi with Maharashtra, invited the latter’s ministers to Belagavi.
The move triggered a row with Kannada organisations reacting sharply to the development.
The invitation has been sent to the coordinating ministers appointed by the coalition government of the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Chandrakanth Patil and Shambhuraj Desai.
The invitation underlined the need for a discussion on the border dispute.
Both the ministers confirmed their visit on December 3 on Twitter and announced that a meeting would be held on the same day in the city.
The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) warned the state government against letting the ministers enter the state.
Deepak Gudaganatti, KRV district president said: “Kannadigas and Marathi people are leading a peaceful and harmonious life in Belagavi district. The ministers are arriving to provoke Marathi people against Kannadigas. They want to spread hate in the name of language.”
He added: “If the state government in Karnataka does not take this seriously and fails to prevent it, the activists of KRV will be forced to lay siege to the programme and prevent it.”
The KRV urged the ruling BJP to take a delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ensure that the Maharashtra government is kept in check.
The organisation demanded the arrest of the MES leaders for sending the invitation.
Senior police officers of both states including the Karnataka ADGP conducted a meeting at Nipani town in Belagavi district in view of the Supreme Court taking up a petition on the border dispute.