Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra, will always remain its part: Ajit
A day after Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi demanded that Mumbai be made part of his state, his Maharashtra counterpart Ajit Pawar on Thursday said, "Everyone knows that the metropolis belongs to Maharashtra and it would always remain its part." The NCP, which is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government in Maharashtra, asked the BJP to come clear on Savadi's demand.
Mumbai should be made part of Karnataka: Savadi
The BJP currently rules Karnataka. Savadi had said that Mumbai should be made part of Karnataka and urged the Centre to declare it a Union Territory until then. His remarks came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that areas dominated by Marathi-speaking people on the state's border with Karnataka should be declared a Union Territory till the Supreme Court gives its final verdict.
'Savadi took Mumbai's name to appease the people of Karnataka'
"Savadi took Mumbai's name to appease the people of Karnataka after our Chief Minister made the remarks," Pawar said. "Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra. It was ours yesterday, is ours today and will be ours in the future too. Nobody can change this. Hence, there is no need to pay attention to what he said. In my opinion, he should be neglected," he said.
'Centre should intervene and find a way out sensibly'
"That is why we had approached the Supreme Court, and it is the State Government's stand, that when such an issue between two states crops up, the Centre should intervene and find a way out. That way out should be found out sensibly," Pawar added.
BJP leaders asked to clarify their stand on the issue
Pawar also said Karnataka had taken certain steps in the past years to show that Marathi-speaking areas in the southern state were its own. The NCP asked the BJP leaders to clarify their stand on the issue. Maharashtra NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase asked state BJP President Chandrakant Patil and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Devendra Fadnavis whether they agree with Savadi's demand.
Tapase asked Patil and Fadnavis to give a befitting reply to Savadi if they are with Maharashtra. "I want to ask Patil and Fadnavis whether they agree with the demand made by Savadi. Do you want to make Mumbai a Union Territory?" he asked. "It is expected of you to give a befitting reply to Savadi if you are with Maharashtra," he added.