Amit Shah On Karnataka, Maharashtra Border Row

Amit Shah On Karnataka, Maharashtra Border Row

New Delhi:

The Chief Minsters of Karnataka and Maharashtra have agreed not to press their claims on the decades-long state border dispute till the Supreme Court takes a call on the matter, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said today after a meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

The meeting this evening was held amid a flare-up of the dispute that dates back to 1956.

While the matter is pending in the Supreme Court, calming down frayed tempers in the two BJP-ruled states — one of which will have its assembly elections next year — is expected to take deft handling.

Over the last weeks, trucks from Maharashtra have been attacked in Karnataka and buses of the southern state have been defaced by workers of the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena.

The Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi has been vocal, with Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar declaring that it is time to take a stand.

The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, as it has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 814 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.

And, as an assertion that Belagavi is an integral part of the state, Karnataka has built the ‘Suvarna Vidhana Soudha’, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of legislature in Bengaluru, and a legislature session is held there annually.