Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: The ongoing border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka has intensified with fireworks from both sides in the past two days. The latest round began after Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday claimed that panchayats in Jat tehsil of Maharashtra had passed a resolution in the past to merge with Karnataka and that he was seriously considering it.
Bommai's remarks triggered angry reactions from the Maharashtra government with cabinet minister Shambhuraj Desai saying that he should not be taken seriously.
Today, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis also made it clear that his government won't let any village go to Karnataka. "Not a single Maharashtra village will go to Karnataka," he said. "The state government will take the fight to get Marathi-speaking villages including Belgaum-Karwar-Nipani too to our state," Fadnavis said while speaking to reporters.
Fadnavis also said that the Jat resolution was passed in 2012. "It is an old proposal. We have not received any new proposal from Karnataka,” he said.
Bommai on Tuesday said that his government has decided to give special grants to Kannada medium schools in Maharashtra. He also said that his government will give pensions to Kannadigas in Maharashtra who fought for the unification of the state. This came after Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde promised pension to freedom fighters of Belagavi and other parts of Karnataka.
On Monday, Bommai said that he has formed a legal team of senior lawyers from the Supreme Court and Karnataka to deal with the border dispute case when it comes up before the top court. A day later, the Maharashtra government appointed cabinet members Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai as nodal ministers to coordinate with the legal team regarding the case.
Today, Desai said Bommai has come up with some ridiculous old demand and should not be taken seriously. He said the villages in Jat tehsil of Sangli district had reportedly passed a resolution more than a decade back to pressurise the then state government to address their demand for water supply for irrigation from the Krishna river.
The origin of the current border dispute dates back to the 1950s. Maharashtra claims rights on over 865 villages along the border, including Carvar, Nippani, and Belagavi. Karnataka, on the other hand, has repeatedly rejected this claim and wants 260 Kannada-speaking villages in Maharashtra to be merged with it.
(With inputs from PTI)
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