Pawar’s Belagavi bid to unveil Rani Chennamma statue sets BJP abuzz with NCP’s Lingayat outreach

The NCP’s president and previous Maharashtra leader minister Sharad Pawar’s talk over with to Belagavi (Belgaum), which has been on the centre of a continuing border-language dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra, raised eyebrows within the state BJP camp, however the NCP denied that his talk over with was once pushed by way of politics.

On Tuesday, Pawar visited Kittur in Belagavi district to inaugurate Rani Chennamma’s statute, following which he tweeted, “I was happy to unveil equestrian statue of Veer Rani Chennamma of Kittur at Ankali in North Karnataka today. She fought against British East India Company to save her principality. Her supreme sacrifice will continue to inspire new generations especially women.”

What intrigued BJP circles was once the purpose that Pawar was once invited to unveil Rani Chennamma’s statue by way of ex-BJP MP Prabhakar Kore, an schooling baron who belongs to the Lingayat group. Playing it down, the NCP, alternatively, stated Kore and Pawar proportion shut family members from their days within the Rajya Sabha. “Both our party chief and Kore had been Rajya Sabha members and they share a close bond. Besides having close contacts with political leaders across the country, Pawar has a good knowledge of history and has inaugurated several statues of freedom fighters and patriots. He maintains good relations even with rival leaders who often invite him to their homes or events. Nothing much should be read into this visit beyond an invitation from a close acquaintance,” stated Maharashtra NCP spokesperson Umesh Patil.

A BJP chief, whilst noting that Kore has affect over the Lingayat group, stated he has in recent years been disenchanted with the birthday celebration. “It looks like Kore might join the NCP…otherwise why would he invite an NCP leader,” he stated.

A Belagavi BJP MLA, Abhay Patil, stated, “As per my information, it was not a BJP event. It was organised by the Lingayat community. Both Pawar and Kore have good rapport since they were Rajya Sabha MPs.”

Umesh Patil, alternatively, maintained that “Our party chief had gone to Kittur to inaugurate the equesterian statue of Veer Rani Chennamma who fought valiantly against the British like Jhansi Ki Rani and that’s all…there is nothing political in it”.

Rani Chennamma belonged to the Lingayat group, which accounts for approximately 7 in line with cent of Maharashtra’s inhabitants. Lingayats make up about 16 in line with cent of Karnataka’s inhabitants.

When requested whether or not the Maratha stalwart’s Kittur talk over with indicated an outreach to Maharashtra’s Lingayats, Patil stated, “Lingayat group is essential to our birthday celebration like any different communities, however this statue unveiling match will have to no longer be checked out from a political perspective. It was once carried out

out of appreciate for one of the crucial heroes of India’s freedom battle. Veer Rani Chennamma was once a supply of inspiration for our freedom opponents.”

Maharashtra NCP secretary Shankar Patil, a Lingayat who hails from Karnataka, stated, “In Maharashtra, the Lingayat community is present in big numbers in border districts of Solapur, Kolhapur, Latur and Sangli. Veer Rani Chennamma is revered like Rani Laxmibai by Lingayats. Though she was defeated by the British, she fought valiantly against them. Her bravery has inspired not only our freedom fighters but also succeeding generations.”

Shankar Patil projected the numerous contributions made by way of the Lingayat group in cooperative and different sectors in Maharashtra. “Political leaders like Shivraj Patil of Latur who was a Congress leader went on to become Lok Sabha Speaker. He also became a Governor later. Industrialists like Baba Kalyani are from Lingayat community. The current Solapur MP Jay Siddheshwar Maharaj is also a Lingayat. The community has played a key role in political, social, industrial and cooperative fields in the state,” he stated.

Highlighting the case of Solapur on this regard, he stated, “Of Solapur district’s 45 lakh inhabitants,

5-7 lakh other folks belong to the Lingayat group. In town spaces too, the group accounts for approximately 20 in line with cent of its 10 lakh inhabitants.”

Maharashtra and Karnataka had been locked in a border-language dispute over Belagavi (Belgaum) and different border districts for a number of many years. Maharashtra has staked its claims over just about 7,000 sq km space alongside Karnataka border – involving Belagavi (Belgaum), Karwar, and Nippani cities in addition to 814 villages in Belagavi (Belgaum), Uttara Kannada, Bidar, and Gulbarga districts. It has claimed that those spaces are “predominantly Marathi-speaking”, challenging their merger with Maharashtra whilst opposing what it calls “the imposition of Kannada language on them by Karnataka”. This is rejected by way of Karnataka, which stakes its claims over Kannada-speaking spaces in Maharashtra.

Pawar’s Belagavi talk over with got here days after a verbal duel broke out between the NCP’s Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and the BJP’s Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, with the latter asking politicians of Maharashtra “not to use language bogey or border issue for their political survival”, at the same time as he asserted that Karnataka will “not give even an inch of its land” to the neighbouring state.

Noting that a number of Kannada-speaking spaces have been in Maharashtra, Bommai additionally stated there was a “continuing thinking” about incorporating them into Karnataka.

Bommai was once reacting to Ajit’s commentary that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) govt would proceed to toughen the struggle of Marathi-speaking other folks dwelling in border spaces of Karnataka for his or her inclusion in Maharashtra.

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