New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday inaugurated a book on the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra and added fuel to the ongoing controversy on the decades-old border dispute between the two states. After Uddhav Thackeray's remarks, the Karnataka government also commented on the controversy starting political bickering with claims and counterclaims between the two states.

Uddhav Thackeray, during the book launch, lashed out at the Karnataka government over alleged atrocities on Marathi-speaking people living in the areas under the Karnataka border. Thackeray said that this is the high time we should fight to win the case for the inclusion of those areas into Maharashtra.

Thackeray even asserted that the areas dominated by Marathi-speaking people on the state's border with Karnataka should be declared as a Union Territory till the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the issue. "We have to learn from past experiences and fight to win. The Karnataka-occupied Marathi-speaking areas will be included in Maharashtra," he said.

Thackeray also accused the Karnataka government of deliberately changing the name of the disputed Belagavi district to 'Belgaum' while the matter is in court, and threatened to make it a part of Maharashtra.

"When the case is being heard in the Supreme Court, the Karnataka government renames Belgaum (as Belagavi) declares it as its second capital, constructs a Legislature building and holds one legislature session there," Uddhav Thackeray said as quoted by news agency PTI and asked, "Isn't this contempt of court?"

Meanwhile, the comments from Uddhav Thackeray did not go well with the Karnataka government. Condemning Uddhav Thackeray's accusation that Karnataka deliberately changed the name of Belagavi district to 'Belgaum', Karnataka Deputy CM Lakshman Savadi demanded that Mumbai be included as a part of the Karnataka. He even said that the Central government should declare Mumbai as a Union Territory.

"We condemn the Maharashtra Chief Minister's statement. We are confident that things will be in our favour in the Supreme Court. The people of our region demand that we have been part of Mumbai-Karnataka (region), so we too have our right on Mumbai. The issue will be resolved once we demand Mumbai", he said.

"Earlier, we (parts of Belagavi) were a part of the Mumbai region. My demand and the demand of the people in this region is that Mumbai is attached to Karnataka...I demand that the Central government ensure that Mumbai should be declared a Union territory," he added.

Lakshman Savadi also said the 1967 Mahajan Commission's report -- which was welcomed by Karnataka but rejected by Maharashtra -- about the disputed area is final. "We are confident that the judgement will arrive in our favour (Karnataka) in the Supreme Court, whatever may be the petition submitted," he added.

Maharashtra claims certain areas, including Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani which are part of Karnataka, contending the majority of the population in these areas is Marathi-speaking. The dispute began after States Reorganisation Act of 1956 made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay State (formerly part of erstwhile Bombay Presidency) a part of the then (then Mysore state). The issue of the disputed border area has been pending in the Supreme Court for several years.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan