“Nobody can change this. Everyone knows it.”
Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has said Mumbai will always remain part of the state, and everyone knows it.
Pawar’s statement came on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
The National Congress Party (NCP) member’s words are in response to demands from his Karnataka counterpart Laxman Savadi.
Savadi is demanding that Mumbai be made part of Karnataka, which he made clear on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.
Furthermore, Savadi is urging the Centre to declare Mumbai a Union Territory until they make a decision on the subject.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was also asked by the NCP to make themselves clear on where they stand regarding Savadi’s demand.
The BJP currently rules Karnataka.
In response to Savadi’s demands, Ajit Pawar said:
“Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra. It was ours yesterday, is ours today and will be ours in the future.
“Nobody can change this. Everyone knows it.
“Hence, there is no need to pay attention to what he said. In my opinion, he should be neglected.
“It may be a poor attempt to appease the people of Karnataka. There is no logic in it.”
Pawar also said that, in previous years, Karnataka has taken steps to make it known that Marathi-speaking areas in the southern state were its own.
Pawar added: “But what we say, and that is why we had approached the Supreme Court, and even today it is the state government’s stand, that when such an issue between two states crops up, then the Centre should intervene and find a way out.
“And that way out should be found sensibly and not in a one-sided manner.”
Laxman Savadi’s remarks over the future of Mumbai come after Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, lashed out at the Karnataka government for renaming Belagavi as Belgaum.
Thackeray said that, until the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the issue, he believes that areas dominated by Marathi-speaking people on the state’s borders with Karnataka should be declared a Union Territory.
Maharashtra NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase also directed a question at BJP president Chandrakant Patil and Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on whether they agree with Savadi.
He asked: “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?”
Tapase also urged that if Patil and Fadnavis are with Maharashtra, to give a “befitting reply” to Savadi.