Hubballi: The demand for trifurcation of Belagavi district is expected to revive in the backdrop of the government's willingness to consider bifurcation of Ballari district.
The carving of two new districts, Chikkodi and Gokak, from Belagavi has been put in cold storage despite the then Chief Minister J H Patil giving it the thumbs up in 1997.
Although political leaders are keen on the creation of these two new districts, many Kannada activists fear it could weaken the Kannada cause due to the dominance of the Marathis in the border region.
Belagavi is the state's biggest district in terms of its geographical area of 13,415 sq kms and population.
It has 14 taluks, and 18 assembly and two Lok Sabha constituencies.
Several organisations, including the Bar Associations of Gokak and Chikkodi, have in the past held violent protests and bandhs demanding a district status for them, contending that Belagavi is too unwieldy to administer as a single unit.
But the trifurcation of Belagavi district was put off after Maharashtra approached the Supreme Court against the Mahajan Commission report, which rejected its claim to Belagavi city.
“We have no objection to trifurcating Belagavi district as it will help improve its administration and development. But the border dispute pending before the Supreme Court should be resolved before this is done as creation of two more districts will be detrimental to the Kannadigas here,” said Mr Ashok Chandaragi, convener of the Action Committee of Kannada Organisations.
“Belagavi district has seen several confrontations between Kannadigas and the Marathi speaking people. Any move to divide Belagavi district will only stir up a hornet’s nest,” warned another Kannada activist....