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'Not an inch' will be ceded to Maharashtra: Karnataka CM Bommai on border row
Belagavi: Amid the ongoing Karnataka-Maharashtra border row, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that not an inch of land will be ceded to Maharashtra.
Bommai said Karnataka is confident of getting justice as the States have been organised on the basis of the States Reorganisation Act 1956. "Not an inch of Karnataka will be ceded to Maharashtra at any cost. The Karnataka government is fully committed to protecting every bit of land. States have been organised on basis of the States Reorganisation Act 1956. Maharashtra politicians are doing such things as their case pending before Supreme Court is very weak," CM Bommai told reporters here.
Bommai's remarks came against the backdrop of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passing the resolution on the state's dispute with Karnataka over border areas.
Karnataka CM said the resolution of the Maharashtra Assembly did not have any value and they are doing such things since their case pending before the Supreme Court is very weak.
"The resolution of the Karnataka Assembly is very clear and the State is clear in its stand which is constitutionally and legally valid. The people of both States are living cordially. The Maharashtra politicians are known for such tricks as they know well that their case is very weak. The Karnataka government is committed to Kannadigas living in the neighbouring state. We are right constitutionally and legally," Bommai added.
Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday tabled a resolution in the state Assembly on the state's dispute with Karnataka over border areas.
The state assembly unanimously passed the resolution which says that Maharashtra will fight the pending case in the Supreme Court with full strength for the inclusion of each and every inch of 865 villages including Belgavi, Karwar, Nipani, Bidar Bhalki in Maharashtra.
The resolution also condemned the Karnataka administration for its anti-Marathi stand in the border area.
According to the resolution the Maharashtra government will stand behind the Marathi people in border areas and will go for a legal fight in the Supreme Court to ensure that these areas become a part of Maharashtra.
The Central Government should urge the Karnataka Government to implement the decision taken in the meeting with the Union Home Minister and the government should be given the understanding to guarantee the safety of the Marathi people in the border areas, the resolution read.
Shiv Sena (UBT) president and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday demanded that the disputed areas be declared as Union Territory.
Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, Thackeray said, "We supported today's resolution. Whatever happens in favour of Maharashtra, we will support it. But there are some questions. For over two years, people (living in border areas) have been demanding to include them in Maharashtra. What are we doing about that?"
Thackeray stated that the Opposition stands in support of the resolution.
"Today government replied that the disputed area cannot be declared as a Union Territory as said by Supreme Court in 2008. However, the situation is not the same now. The Karnataka government is not following it. They are doing an Assembly session there and renamed Belagavi. So we should go to Supreme Court and ask SC to declare it as UT," added Thackeray.
Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar condemned the Maharashtra Assembly resolution and called it a political gimmick.
"There is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in both States and in the Centre. There was no need to pass the resolution. It is done because of elections. We know how to protect our people. They might speak Marathi but live in Karnataka. We condemn this resolution," Shivakumar told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka legislature said that the state's stand over the border issue is a settled one and not an inch of land will be given to the neighbouring state.
Notably, the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka dates back to the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956. The then Maharashtra government had demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka.
Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states. The Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer 260 predominantly Kannada-speaking villages, but the proposal was turned down by Karnataka. Both governments later approached the Supreme Court to expedite the matter. (ANI)