Belgaum Bedlam: Dispute between K'taka and Maha arises

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Bangalore, Oct 11: The long standing dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra is out in the open once again.

On Thursday, Oct 11 several journalists who went to cover President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Belgaum were detained.

Mukherjee is slated to inaugurate Suvarna Vidhan Soudha, second legislature complex in Belgaum, built at a revised cost of Rs 400 crore.

Reports suggest that several political parties in Maharashtra have opposed the inauguration of the legislature complex citing the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Political parties from Maharashtra are opposing the inauguration of Suvarna Vidha Soudha in Belgaum as they say Belgaum belongs to Maharashtra and not Karnataka.

The construction of Suvarna Vidhan Soudha is modelled on the State Secretariat Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore. Analysts say that the construction of the legislature complex is a symbolic assertion of Karnataka's long-held position that Belgaum is an integral part of the State.

"Maharashtra claims that Belgaum belongs to it but Karnataka has maintained that the issue had been settled long time ago when the Centre-appointed Mahajan Commission in its report in August 1967 had categorically stated that the city was part of Karnataka," said a political commentator.

The Shiv Sena, one of the foremost supporters of Belgaum's unification with Maharashtra, has called for a bandh in four districts abutting Karnataka to protest against President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to the disputed border area.

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