Mumbai: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil faced protests in his hometown Kolhapur today for singing a Kannada song.
Karnataka and Maharashtra are locked in a bitter border dispute. Maharashtra claims the areas of Belgaum and Karwar, currently part of the neighbouring state, and the matter is before the Supreme Court.
The minister, invited to a private function near Gokak in Karnataka, sang a Kannada song which drew the ire of leaders of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which is fighting for inclusion of Belgaum and Karwar in Maharashtra.
According to media reports, the song praises Karnataka and its culture.
Incidentally, Patil, a senior BJP leader, heads a coordination committee set up by the Maharashtra government to find solution to the dispute.
Some activists of Ekikaran Samiti today took out a protest march to Patil’s house in Kolhapur, however, police stopped them some distance away, an official said.
The minister told a news channel that all he recited at the function were four lines of a Kannada song in praise of goddess Durga, and he saw nothing wrong with that.
“I had gone to a village near Gokak for ‘vastu-shant’ of a Durga temple. When we visit another state, we say a few lines in the local language.
So I said four lines in praise of goddess Durga. A non-issue is being turned into an issue,” Patil said.