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Border row: Sena warns of snapping ties with BJP
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January 17, 2009 12:46 IST

Mounting pressure on its ally over the border row issue, the Shiv Sena today warned BJP that it would snap ties with it if its government in Karnataka continued to "torture" Marathi-speaking people.

"The BJP government in Karnataka used force against Marathi people protesting the Assembly session at Belgaum, a border district, and arrested senior leaders like N D Patil," Leader of Opposition in Maharasthra Assembly Ramdas Kadam told PTI from Belgaum.

"Sena chief Bal Thackeray [Images] has asked me to convey to Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka that it would snap ties with the BJP in Maharashtra if the atrocities continue," he said.

His remarks came a day after Thackeray said his party was "ready to accept blows from friends (BJP) if atrocities against Marathi-speaking populace of Karnataka's border areas continue".

Reacting to the Sena posture, Maharashtra BJP President Nitin Gadkari said he was not sure what led Kadam to warn of snapping the over two-decade-old ties over the boundary row.

"I have said that BJP in Maharashtra is behind the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka and we feel that injustice against them should stop," Gadkari said.

"Snapping ties is their (Sena) right. If they want to take a unilateral decision, it is their prerogative," he said.

Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has warned Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa would not be allowed entry in Maharashtra if "atrocities" against Marathi people in the southern state continued.

Uddhav also appealed to BJP leader L K Advani [Images] to `control' those perpetrating these "atrocities".

Thackeray said Yeddyurappa was accorded a red-carpet treatment when he visited Mumbai [Images]. "The same Chief Minister is heaping grave atrocities on Marathi people in Karnataka," he said in the Sena mouthpiece `Saamna' yesterday.

"Marathis are being assaulted with sticks and guns and beaten up like cattle. If Karnataka Government wants to display its machoism by breaking heads of Marathi people, it should remember that Maharashtra is the land of Shivaji Maharaj," Thackeray had said.

The nine-day session of the Karnataka Legislature, which commenced at Belgaum yesterday, is being held in the backdrop of protests by Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) which is seeking merger of 856 villages and towns of Karnataka, including Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani, with the Western state.

Karnataka had been rejecting Maharashtra's claim over the Marathi-speaking areas. The boundary dispute, which has led to violent protests in the past, is now pending before the Supreme Court.

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