The chief minister also raised the issue of border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over Belgaum.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday hit out at the Centre over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and asked how and where the government intended to settle Hindu immigrants in the country. He also accused the BJP-led central government of being biased towards Karnataka on the border dispute with Maharashtra over Belgaum. He was replying to a debate in the Maharashtra Assembly here on Governor B S Koshyari’s address.
The governor addressed a joint sitting of the state legislature at the Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai on December 1. Targeting the government over the new citizenship law, Thackeray said, “I would like to know how and where the Hindus from other countries are going to be settled. I don’t think you (Centre) have a plan for it.” Thackeray’s party Shiv Sena had earlier supported the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, but staged a walkout during voting on it in the Rajya Sabha, saying there was no clarity on questions raised over it by the party.
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The chief minister also raised the issue of border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over Belgaum. Maharashtra claims Belgaum, part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency but currently a district of Karnataka, on linguistic grounds. “The central government has taken Karnataka’s side and ignored Maharashtra in the legal battle before the Supreme Court…it was going on for last five years and everyone was kept in the dark,” Thackeray alleged. He also asked the BJP to make its stand clear on Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar’s opinion on cows. Savarkar apparently was of the opinion that cow is a useful animal, but it can be slaughtered and eaten after it is no longer useful.
Hitting out further at the Centre, Thackeray said several investment proposals for Maharashtra never materialised because of demonetisation and random implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “Programmes like ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ were held to attract huge investments but could not bear fruit after decisions like demonetisation and haphazard implementation of GST,” he said. There were several investment-related programmes, which were only promised, but could not materialise due to such “erratic decisions” of the Centre, he added.