Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said he would move a resolution in the state assembly on Tuesday expressing solidarity with those living in the contentious boundary region with Karnataka.
Shinde also hit out at his predecessor and Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leader Uddhav Thackeray, who had criticised his visit to the national capital and demanded that the Marathi-speaking areas of Karnataka be declared as a Union Territory.
“We do not need any lessons from others. We are standing steadfast with those living in the boundary region. We are bringing a resolution to the effect in the assembly tomorrow (Tuesday),” Shinde told reporters here on Monday.
The remarks by Shinde, who was in Delhi to participate in the Veer Baal Divas function, came as the issue of the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row echoed in the ongoing winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday, with the Opposition demanding a resolution on the issue.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured the House that a resolution on the border row would be tabled in a day or two.
“We will fight even for an inch. We will do whatever we can for the justice of the Marathi-speaking population in Karnataka,” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
Notably, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly had on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution moved by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the border row, resolving to protect the southern state’s interests. The BJP is in power in Karanataka as well as Maharashtra, where it is in an alliance with the Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena.
After attending the Veer Bal Divas function, Chief Minister Shinde called on Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at his residence.
Countering criticism from Thackeray, Shinde claimed the previous MVA government had discontinued certain government schemes in villages along Maharashtra’s border with Karnataka.
“We approved the Mhaisal expansion scheme worth Rs 2,000 crore. Eknath Shinde had faced a jail term for participating in the agitations over the boundary issue,” Shinde said when asked about Thackeray’s comments on his Delhi visit.
The chief minister also said that Thackeray should understand the purpose of his Delhi visit before passing any judgements.
“I was here to participate in the Veer Bal Divas function organised by the Union government to commemorate the sacrifice of Guru Gobind Singh’s sons Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh,” Shinde said and added that chief ministers of Maharashtra and Punjab were special invitees.
Shinde said the boundary dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka was before the Supreme Court.
“For the first time, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had intervened and directed chief ministers of the two states to ensure that there is no law and order issue along the border.
“We are taking care. Karnataka should also take care to ensure that no law and order situation arises in the border region,” Shinde said.