Mumbai: Amid rising political heat over the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray has said Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has no courage to speak against his Karnataka counterpart.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's claim that several border villages in Maharashtra once sought to become part of his state has triggered a row.
"Have we lost our courage as Karnataka chief minister is easily making claims on Maharashtra villages?" Thackeray said on Thursday, taking a swipe at Shinde.
"Is Karnataka CM having any blessings from Delhi? Does the Centre also want the same thing?” Thackeray, a former chief minister who heads the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), asked while speaking to reporters.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, meanwhile, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "cannot run away from the Karnataka issue." "If Karnataka wants to return Nipani, and Belgaum villages, then only some exchange can be worked out," he added.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis countered the jibes by the opposition on the Maharashtra-Karnataka dispute by saying that the Congress was in power in Maharashtra for much longer than the BJP.
"Still it did not solve the issue. The case is in court. Not a single village of Maharashtra will go to Karnataka," he said.