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Maha-K’taka border row: Centre should declare disputed area as Union Territory, says legislator Jayant Patil

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Legislator Jayant Patil on Wednesday said in the Maharashtra Legislative Council that the Centre should immediately intervene into the border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka and declare the disputed area as a Union Territory. Patil (from the Peasants and Workers Party of India) was speaking in the House during a discussion. His demand came a day after the Maharashtra legislature unanimously passed a resolution to “legally pursue” the inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka into the western state.

The state government will legally pursue in the Supreme Court the case to include (in Maharashtra) “every inch” of the land of Belgaum, Karwar Bidar, Nipani, Bhalki cities and the 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka, said the resolution moved by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in both the Houses.

The Maharashtra resolution said when the chief ministers of the two states had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, it was decided that till the Supreme Court gives its judgement on the matter, it should be ensured the issue does not flare up any further. However, the Karnataka government took a contrary stand by passing a resolution in its state Assembly.

The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) on Tuesday demanded in the Maharashtra Assembly that the 865 villages be declared as a Union Territory till the top court gives its verdict on the issue. However, it did not figure in the resolution. On Wednesday, MLC Patil said, “The Centre took an immediate decision on Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into Union Territories.Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take a stand and declare the disputed area (pertaining to Maharashtra-Karnataka border row) as a Union Territory.”

The Lok Sabha has the power to take a decision. Therefore, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders should immediately approach the Union government, he said. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly last Thursday unanimously passed a resolution on the border row with Maharashtra, resolving to protect the southern state’s interests and not to cede even an inch of land to its neighbour.

The resolution also condemned the border dispute “created” by Maharashtra. Maharashtra has 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 more than 800 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka. Karnataka maintains the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final.


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