Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: Won't forfeit even an inch, says Shinde
Reacting to the fresh salvo over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, the former state's CM Eknath Shinde proclaimed on Thursday that they wouldn't forfeit even an inch of land. He said they were working on providing justice to the Marathi people in border areas as it is their duty to solve the problem of the 40 villages, which the Karnataka government staked a claim to.
Why does this story matter?
The decades-old Maharashtra and Karnataka border dispute began during the reorganization of several states in the 1950s. Since then, Maharashtra has insisted that nearly 865 border villages/cities, including the likes of Nipani, Belagavi (previously Belgaum), and Karwar, should be merged with the state. Meanwhile, Karnataka has declared its rights on 260 Kannada-speaking border villages that are part of Maharashtra.
The case in SC has been delayed
The controversy resurfaced after Shinde on Monday appointed two ministers to coordinate with the legal team in the border dispute case ahead of the hearing in the Supreme Court. The matter was earlier scheduled for November 23 but has been deferred. Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday claimed that some villages on the border passed resolutions to merge with Karnataka in the past.
Maratha groups protest against Bommai
Bommai seems possessed: Uddhav Thackeray
Shinde echoed remarks by Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, who said the state government will fight strongly to claim Marathi-speaking villages, including Belagavi, Karwar, and Nipani. However, Bommai termed Fadnavis's statement as provocative. The opposition in Maharashtra also took potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is incumbent in both states. Moreover, former CM Uddhav Thackeray said Bommai seems "possessed."
Ammunition for the opposition in states
Maharashtra opposition leader Ajit Pawar of the National Congress Party (NCP), a constituent of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, sought the Centre's intervention in the issue. Former Karnataka CM and current Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Siddaramaiah, demanded an advisory committee be formed, including him, to resolve the issue. Earlier, Maharashtra moved the SC in 2004 over the issue.
BJP is in power in both states
To note, the BJP is in power in Karnataka and is a coalition partner of the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde), which formed the government after unseating the MVA following the bifurcation of the Shiv Sena earlier this year.