'Positive intent': Karnataka minister Hebbalkar explains Belagavi remarks amid uproar
In the midst of Belagavi controversy, Women and Child Welfare Minister Lakshmi Hebbalkar has come forward to clarify her statements and stress the importance of understanding the positive intent behind her words. The minister's remarks were made in the context of the historical ties between Belagavi and the Mumbai region before India gained Independence.
Minister Hebbalkar addressed the issue, stating, "Before independence, Belagavi was also in the Mumbai region; Kannadigas and Marathi speakers have been living in harmony since ancient times." She expressed her hope for the continued camaraderie between the two linguistic communities.
The controversy emerged from her participation in a Kannada conference held in Karadaga of Nippani Taluk, where she emphasised the historical coexistence of Kannadigas and Marathi speakers. Minister Hebbalkar clarified that her intention was to inspire and boost the spirits of the Kannadigas living on the border. She urged people to understand the positivity behind her words and avoid misinterpretations that could potentially hinder the harmony between the communities.
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Minister Hebbalkar dismissed any notion of her statements being interpreted in a controversial manner, highlighting that Maharashtra did not exist as a state before Independence. Participating in the conference as a proud kannada speaker, she expressed her admiration for the joint celebration of Kannada and Marathi cultures in the border region. She aimed to instill enthusiasm among the communities and reinforce the sense of unity in diversity.
Acknowledging the significance of the occasion, Minister Hebbalkar pledged to provide financial assistance from the state government to the Karadaga Kannada Samavesh starting next year. Additionally, she committed to exploring the possibility of presenting the Kannada Rajyotsava award to the organisation.