Milind Deora Eknath Shinde

Won’t Tolerate Injustice Against Marathi: Shinde On Border Row

Milind Deora Eknath Shinde

Amid the latest flashpoint over the border dispute with Karnataka, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday told the state’s Legislative Council that not an inch of the land from the disputed 865 villages will be ceded to the neighbouring state and his government will pursue all legal avenues to prevent injustice against the Marathi speaking people.

The CM’s statement comes a day after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, on Tuesday, proclaimed that his state won’t give an inch of the disputed territory to Maharashtra.
Addressing the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Shinde said, “Karnataka should not challenge us as we will not give up an inch of the land in the 865 (disputed) villages, including Belgavi, Nipani, Karwar, Bidar and Bhalki. We will pursue whatever legal recourse that is available to us. We will seek the intervention of the Supreme Court and the central government and do everything in our power to prevent injustice to our Marathi-speaking people.”

Earlier, on Tuesday, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on the dispute with Karnataka over border areas saying the state will legally pursue the inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages that are in Karnataka.

In an apparent reaction to the move, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said “not an inch of land will be ceded to Maharashtra” and that the state is confident of getting justice, as the states were carved out on the basis of the States Reorganisation Act 1956.

Amid the row, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray demanded that the ‘disputed areas’ should be declared a Union Territory.

Chief minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday tabled the resolution in the Assembly on the border row.

The resolution, which was passed unanimously, says Maharashtra will fight the pending case in the Supreme Court with full strength for the inclusion of each and every inch of the 865 villages that it lays claim to. They include Belgavi, Karwar, Nipani, and Bidar Bhalki in Maharashtra. The resolution also condemned the Karnataka administration for ‘its anti-Marathi stand’ in the border areas.

The resolution further said the Maharashtra government will stand with the Marathi-speaking people in border areas and will go for a legal fight in the Supreme Court to ensure that these areas become a part of the state.

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 an understanding that would guarantee the safety of the Marathi people in the border areas, the resolution said.

The Maharashtra assembly resolution came days after Karnataka Assembly passed a unanimous resolution last week over the Karnataka-Maharashtra border issue and condemned statements made by some Maha ministers on the issue. The resolution said that legal action will be taken against any minister if they continue to make statements over the issue.

Uddhav Thackeray, who spoke to the reporters on Tuesday in Nagpur, demanded that the ‘disputed areas’ be declared a Union Territory.

He said the party supported the resolution in the Maharashtra Assembly. “Whatever happens in favor of Maharashtra, we will support it. But there are some questions. For over two years, people (living in border areas) have been demanding that their areas be included in Maharashtra. What are we doing about that?” Thakeray asked.

“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 has renamed Belagavi. So we should go to Supreme Court and urge it to declare it as UT,” he said. (ANI)

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