BELGAUM: Celebrating Shivaji Jayanti at government level will bridge the divide between the people of Karnataka and Maharashtra, Chief Minister D V Sadananada Gowda noted.
He was speaking after inaugurating the state government’s first-ever Shivaji Jayanti celebrations at Shivaji Garden here on Monday. Describing the event as “historic”, the Chief Minister observed that it would help spread harmony in the region as well as across the state. “The celebrations aim to mend relations with the Marathis and Kannadigas in the border areas,” he said.
Gowda, while calling for priority to national thinking, urged citizens to shed lingual and religious differences.
“Shivaji gave equal respect to Kannada and Marathi. His ancestors hailed from Bijapur and he and his father had once stayed in Bangalore,” the CM addressed.
The Chief Minister pointed out that Marathi diaspora is spread across the nation, and that they have adjusted themselves to the culture of the regions they have settled down.
“As many as 40 lakh Marathis reside in Karnataka. The World Kannada Meet held here last year was a success because of the support to it from the Marathis,” he said. He said that the opposition to the celebrations from Marathi outfits need to be ignored. Claiming that some politicians are vitiating the atmosphere in border regions for political gains, the Chief Minister asserted: “The decision to hold the celebrations will give an answer to them.”
Belgaum Rural MLA Sanjay Patil on the occasion proposed to establish a 60-feet Shivaji statue at Rajhunsgad (Yellur fort).