Terming Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's statement that Kannadidgas may find it difficult to do business in Mumbai as "anti-Kannadiga" and "anti-national", Karnataka BJP on Tuesday took a dig at the state Congress leaders for their "silence" on the issue.
Congress is part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.
Urging Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra to set up an office in Belagavi in Karnataka, Mr Raut on Sunday claimed that when Marathi-speaking people are attacked in this border district, Shiv Sainiks retaliate by vandalising transport buses belonging to Karnataka coming into their state.
The Rajya Sabha member went on to warn that if such an incident happened in Mumbai, then it would be "difficult for Kannadigas here (Mumbai) to conduct their trade and business," but then added that "no one should go to that level".
Referring to Mr Raut's statement that Kannadigas may find it difficult to do business in Mumbai, Karnataka BJP tweeted: "As India fights Corona, it is shocking to see Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut making anti-national remarks".
"Will Siddaramaiah (Leader of Opposition in Karnataka) and DK Shivakumar (state Congress President) condemn this anti-kannadiga statement by their alliance partner in Maharashtra? Will they ask Sonia Gandhi to withdraw from the MVA alliance?" it asked.
Member of Parliament from Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya too said, Karnataka Congress' silence on the issue shows "their love for power is more than love for Karnataka".
"Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress govt (in Maharashtra) is proving to be disgrace to the country everyday. When the country has to stand united in the hour of distress, MVP leaders are dividing people on issues of language," he tweeted.
Maharashtra claims certain areas, including Belagavi, Karwar and Nippani which are part of Karnataka, contending that the majority of population in these areas is Marathi speaking.
On its part, as an assertion that Belagavi is an integral part of the state, Karnataka has built the "Suvarna Vidhana Soudha", modeled on the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in Bengaluru, where the legislature session is generally held once a year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)