Border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka intensifies, CM Shinde says 'not an inch to go'
Mumbai, Nov 25: Echoing Maharashtra deputy chief minister's words on the border dispute issue with Karnataka, state chief minister Eknath Shinde has now said that the state government would not let "even an inch of the land of Maharashtra" to go away to anyone.
Eknath Shinde, while talking to media persons on Thursday, said, "We are doing the work of giving justice to the Marathi people in the border areas. Not even an inch of space in Maharashtra will be allowed to go anywhere," ANI quoted him as saying.
The chief minister further added that this is his government's responsibility to solve the problems of the 40 villages.
Uddhav, others hit out at Karnataka CM
Before Maharashtra CM Shinde, Uddhav Thackeray also hit out at Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai over his remarks on the border dispute.
Uddhav Thackeray said, "The Karnataka Chief Minister is giving his statement on border issues. It seems like Karnataka CM Bommai has been possessed for suddenly staking a claim on 40 villages in Maharashtra?"
Ajit Pawar, leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra, also slammed Karnataka Chief Minister for his statement on the border dispute between the two states. He also demanded Centre's intervention on the issue.
Why the tiff between Karnataka and Maharashtra?
Karnataka CM Bommai had earlier said, "The border row has become a political tool in Maharashtra, and any party in power will raise the issue for political purposes. My government is capable of protecting the borders of Karnataka and has taken steps also."
The controversy between the two states erupted after Karnataka CM Bommai said, "Some villages in Maharashtra's Sangli district, which are having a water crisis, passed a resolution seeking a merger with Karnataka."
Maharashtra deputy CM Fadnavis in a tweet had said that no village in Maharashtra would go to Karnataka.
He had said, "No village in Maharashtra will go to Karnataka! The state government will fight strongly in the Supreme Court to get Marathi-speaking villages including Belgaum-Karwar-Nipani."
Responding to Fadnavis, Bommai said in a tweet on Wednesday evening, "Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has made a provocative statement on the Karnataka Maharashtra border issue and his dream will never come true. Our government is committed to protecting the country's land, water and borders."
The border dispute dates back to the 1960s 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 sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 80 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.