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Karnataka CM threatens retaliatory measure if Maharashtra does not withdraw its health insurance scheme in State villages

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Terming the Maharashtra government’s order extending benefits of its healthcare scheme to 865 villages in Karnataka, amid the ongoing border dispute between two states, as an act that threatens the federal system, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday warned of retaliatory measure if it was not withdrawn.

Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah said, Maharashtra’s move cannot be tolerated. “The consequences will not be right if it is not withdrawn immediately.” In a series of tweets, Bommai alleged that in the name of providing insurance to the people on Karnataka’s side of the border, the Maharashtra government is taking declaration letters from them stating that they belong to Maharashtra. “This is condemnable.”.

If the Maharashtra government continues its insolent behaviour, the Karnataka government will also implement a similar insurance scheme for the protection of the Kannadigas on the Maharashtra’s side of the border.

A government resolution (GR) extending the benefits of the ‘Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana’ scheme to Karnataka villages, was issued by Maharashtra on Monday.

The order said 865 villages from 12 tehsils in Belagavi, Karvar, Kalaburagi and Bidar have been included under the ‘Yojana’.

“Even though the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute is in the Supreme Court, the Maharashtra government is trying to create confusion in the border areas of both the states. The order to insure some people on the Karnataka border is the height of insolence and is an attempt to disrupt ties between the two states”, Bommai said.

Pointing out that Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis in a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah had agreed not to create any confusion on the border issue, he said now issuing an order to implement the Babu Jagjivan Ram health insurance scheme for 865 villages in Karnataka, is an act that threatens the federal system.

“The Maharashtra government should immediately withdraw its order and by respecting the instructions given by Amit Shah, should work towards safeguarding the relationship between the two states,” he added.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah said the Maharashtra Chief Minister is not giving any value to assurance and words of Union Home Minister and Karnataka Chief Minister regarding the border issue, and called on Bommai to act in this regard.

“The Belagavi border dispute is in the court. We are hopeful that Kannadigas will get justice. In the meantime, it is condemnable that Maharashtra is doing the mischief of digging up the boundary issue for political gains. Kannadigas will not tolerate this,” the former Chief Minister added.

The border issue dates back to 1957 when States were reorganised 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 over 800 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently a part of Karnataka.

Karnataka maintains that the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report is final.

And, in an assertion about Belagavi being an integral part of the State, Karnataka built the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha there, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the State Legislature and Secretariat, in Bengaluru.


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