Yediyurappa says will not allow K'taka bandh against Maratha body, warns of action

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said his government will not allow the 'forced bandh' called by some pro-Kannada outfits on December 5 against its decision to set up the Maratha Development Board.

Yediyurappa, who arrived in the national capital this afternoon to discuss with top BJP leadership the expansion of his cabinet, warned of action if the bandh is called.

'We have set up the board for the welfare of Maratha communities living in the state. Marathas are also Hindu followers,' the chief minister told reporters here.

'We will take strict action if the forced bandh is called,' he said.

The government's decision to set up the Maratha Development Board comes ahead of the announcement of bypolls to the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, as well as Basavakalyan and Maski assembly constituencies, which have a sizeable Marathi-speaking population.

Yediyurappa also lashed out at Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for 'unnecessarily stoking' the border dispute between the two states.

He said the Mahajan Commission's decision is final.

Pawar had on Tuesday said Maharashtra's all-round growth and incorporating Belgaum (Belagavi), Karwar and Nipani into the state were dreams of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

'Let's resolve to fulfil Balasaheb's dream,' he had said.

Karnataka and Maharashtra have been at loggerheads for decades over the border issue.

Maharashtra lays claim to the border district of Belagavi on linguistic grounds.

Karnataka has built the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha, the state legislature building in Bengaluru, in Belagavi to assert its claim that the district is an integral part of the state.

The legislative assembly's session is held in Suvarna Vidhana Soudha once a year. PTI LUX DIV DIV