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Maharashtra Council passes resolution on boundary dispute with Karnataka; seeks guarantee on safety of Marathi people in border areas

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The Maharashtra Legislative Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution to “legally pursue” inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka into the western state and that the Centre should ask the southern state to guarantee the safety Marathi people living in the border areas.

The resolution moved by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in both Houses of the Maharashtra legislature expressed solidarity with the people living in the boundary areas. “The state government will legally pursue in the Supreme Court the case to include (in Maharashtra) inch and inch of land of Belgaum, Karwar Bidar, Nipani, Bhalki cities and the 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka,” the resolution said. It said the central government should urge the Karnataka government to implement the decision taken in a meeting with the Union Home Minister (over the border dispute issue).

The central government should give directives to the Karnataka government to guarantee the safety of the Marathi people in the border areas, it added. The Council passed the resolution unanimously in the presence of Deputy Chairperson Dr Neelam Gorhe.

The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly last Thursday unanimously passed a resolution on border row with Maharashtra, resolving to protect the southern state’s interests and not to cede an inch of land to its neighbour.

The resolution had also condemned the border dispute “created” by Maharashtra.

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 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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