Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 31 (ANI): Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Satish Jarkiholi on Sunday termed Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's recent remarks on Belgavi a "political gimmick".
He added that it is not possible to include Belagavi into Maharashtra and Mumbai into Karnataka.
"I don't want Mumbai, you (Uddhav Thackeray) don't ask Belagavi from us. Being a Kannadiga, I would like to give a message to Uddhav Thackeray not to resort to politics in this sensitive matter, as all Marathi people in Karnataka are living happily along with Kannadigas (Kannada speaking people)," Jarkiholi said while addressing a press conference in Belagavi.
"It is a political gimmick of Chief Minister Thackeray," he added.
The remarks came days after Thackeray claimed that the bordering city of Belagavi was dominated by the Marathi-speaking population and hence it should be converted to a Union Territory until the Supreme Court gives the final verdict on the issue.
The Congress leader said that it is the practice in Maharashtra to issue irresponsible statements on the boundary issue over the years.
"It is not the first time such statements are coming from Maharashtra, they are known to make such provocative statements," he said.
"We never discriminated Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka. We have given the same amount of funds as much as given to Kannada schools. They (Maharashtra government) don't need to provoke Marathi speaking people," he added.
Congress is part of the coalition government in Maharashtra along with Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Earlier, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi had condemned Thackeray's statement and said that the people of Karnataka also had a claim on Mumbai as it has been a part of the Mumbai-Karnataka region. (ANI)