Fadnavis briefs Amit Shah on Maha-Karnataka boundary dispute


PTI, Dec 7, 2022, 7:53 PM IST

Image Credit: ANI

Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said he spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and apprised him about developments related to the boundary dispute with Karnataka over the last one week, a period marked by war of words between leaders of the two neighbouring states, attacks on vehicles and protests by activists.

A statement from Fadnavis’s office said Shah patiently heard the Deputy Chief Minister’s views on Maharashtra’s stand on the decades-old boundary dispute which has flared up in the last few days, leading to tension in border areas.

Fadnavis also apprised Shah about his telephone conversation with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday.

The deputy CM spoke to Bommai following attacks on vehicles from Maharashtra entering Karnataka in the adjoining state’s border district of Belagavi.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray said the boundary dispute should be resolved amicably through talks.

The bond between people of Maharashtra and Karnataka is very strong and they have family deities on either side of the border, Thackeray said in a statement.

The border issue is being raked up with an eye on the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls and Maharashtra is being targeted, he said.

”Suddenly Maharashtra’s border areas are being claimed (by Karnataka) and this is not a simple matter. Someone is deliberately raking up the issue from the Karnataka side. The Maharashtra government should find out who is deliberately fanning sentiments here. The Karnataka chief minister should not make provocative statements,” said the MNS leader. The decades-old border dispute between the two states flared up and spilled onto roads on Tuesday with stones being hurled at vehicles entering Karnataka from the Maharashtra side near a toll booth at Hirebaugwadi in Belagavi district.

Similarly, at least four buses from Karnataka were defaced in Pune district allegedly by activists of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and the MNS.

The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.

Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 814 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of the southern state.

Karnataka, however, considers the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final.

A Maharashtra ministerial delegation that was supposed to visit Belagavi and hold discussions with a pro-Marathi group active there on Tuesday had postponed their tour, while Kannada organisations staged a protest in the border district in a show of strength.

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