Former MLA BR Patil and state unit president of Maharashtra Kannada Sahitya Parishat Somshekar Jamshetty were addressing a press conference at Kalaburagi on Monday. | Photo: ARUN KULKARNI
Former MLA BR Patil and Maharashtra Kannada Sahitya Parishad State Unit President Somashekar Jamshetty have urged legislators, irrespective of their party lines, to discuss the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute during the Belagavi winter session.
At a press conference in Kalaburagi on Monday, Mr. Patil and Mr. Jamshetty addressed the members of parliament from all political parties on the border issue.
Kannada speakers of 11 gram panchayats and 134 villages under Akkalkot region, 65 villages of Solapur South and 44 villages of Jat area are demanding merger of Karnataka region, Mr. Jamshetty said and accused the Maharashtra government of taking steps. motherly treatment to the Kannada speakers of that region.
Both the Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have failed to address the issue. Maharashtra government has not provided basic amenities. It has not addressed the issues of education and employment.
Although the Karnataka government has allocated some grants to build Kannada medium schools and a Kannada Bhavan in Maharashtra, nearly 50 Kannada medium schools have been closed down. Currently, only 72 schools against 120 Kannada medium schools are functioning on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border, Mr. Jamshetty added.
Condemning the behavior of the district authorities and the police, Mr. Jamshetty said the police are filing criminal cases against Kannada speakers who are participating in a protest related to the Karnataka-Maharashtra border.
Kannada speaking people and those taking part in the protest have also been forced by the police officials to give in writing that they want to stay in Maharashtra.
Mr. Patil to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to raise his voice and take up the issue in the winter session.
Setting a one-week deadline for the government to take action, Mr. Patil said a group of Kannada speakers in Maharashtra will stage a protest outside the Suvarna Soudha if the government does not respond to their demand.