Border row: Karnataka CM's statement disrespectful to Shah, says MVA

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Politics

Bommai's statement shows he doesn't respect the Central government, Sawant said

Senior Shiv Sena ((UBT) leader and Mumbai South Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant. (Photo: Twitter)

MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena (UBT) on Saturday said Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's statement that the meeting between Maharashtra parliamentarians and Union Home Minister Amit Shah would make no difference to the border dispute between the two states shows such comments are pre-planned with an eye on Assembly polls there.

Senior Shiv Sena ((UBT) leader and Mumbai South Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant, who was part of the delegation that met Shah, said the latter had taken serious note of the issue and had assured he would call a meeting of the CMs of both states.

However, Bommai's statement shows he doesn't respect the Central government, Sawant said, adding it seems such comments are pre-planned with an eye on polls in the southern state, mostly likely to be held in the earlier part of 2023, and has the blessings of the Centre.

"When the matter is pending in the Supreme Court, Karnataka went ahead and changed the name of Belgaum to Belagavi. It then constructed a legislature building there and holds a session of the Assembly annually. All this is illegal," Sawant claimed.

Slamming Bommai, Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, "Isn't the statement of the Karnataka CM disrespectful to the Union home minister and our country? The BJP CM of a state openly passes a counter statement related to the Home Minister of India, who is also from the BJP. Are we missing something here?"

"Bommai used to be backed by Amit Shah. Now he is saying meeting Amit Shah is useless on the border issue! who is actually in charge here?! And will the Maharashtra government now sell our villages to their BJP neighbours after selling our projects to Gujarat," Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Sharma Menon tweeted.

In a tweet on Friday, Bommai had said his state's stand was "legitimate" and its case in the apex court was "strong".

"Maharashtra delegation meeting the Union Home Minister will not make any difference. Maharashtra has tried this in the past too. The case is in the Supreme Court. Our legitimate case in the Supreme Court is strong. Our government will not make any compromise on the border issue," Bommai tweeted late on Friday night.

"I have asked Karnataka MPs to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday regarding the Karnataka Maharashtra border issue. I will also be meeting the Union Home Minister soon to inform him about the state's legitimate stand," he added.

The delegation from Maharashtra had met Shah on Friday and NCP leader Amol Kolhe, who was part of group, said the former would meet both CMs on December 14.

The border row had intensified earlier this week with vehicles from either sides being targeted, leaders from both states weighing in, and pro-Kannada and Marathi activists being detained by police amid a tense atmosphere in the border district of Belagavi.

Following this, the Karnataka and Maharashtra CMs spoke to each other over phone and agreed there should be peace and law and order should be maintained on both sides.

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.

The dispute is pending in the Supreme court.