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    Karnataka CM Bommai Vows To 'Safeguard Kannadigas' In Maharashtra As Border Row Intensifies

    Bommai on Tuesday blamed Maharashtra for dragging out the decades-old border dispute over Belgaum district.

    By Akanksha Verma
    Tue, 06 Dec 2022 12:26 PM (IST)

    Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai on Tuesday cancelled their plans to visit Belagavi in Karnataka amid hieghtened tensions between the two states. The two ministers have been appointed by Maharashtra to tackle the ongoing border dispute with its neighbour.

    Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had on Monday warned the ministers against visiting, asserted today that the Karnataka government is "committed to safeguarding" the borders and the people, including "the Kannadigas in Maharastra, Kerala and Telangana".

    Addressing the media on the issue today, Bommai blamed Maharashtra for dragging out the dispute. "This stand of Karnataka had nothing to do with elections, it is a long dragged issue by Maharastra. These tensions are created because of Maharashtra."

    The two states have been entangled in a row for decades over the demarcation of boundary between them. The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on November 30.

    Expressing confidence of winning the legal battle over the long-drawn dispute, Bommai said, "There is prosperity among people of both states, this (border issue) is in SC and I am sure we'll win the legal battle," he said.

    Patil and Desai, were initially scheduled to visit Belagavi on December 3 but had postponed their visit to December 6.

    Yesterday Karnataka CM Bommai appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to fight the border dispute issue legally as it is in court now.

    "We have already communicated to them that it will create law and order problem, therefore, it's not the right time to come. I appeal to Maharashtra CM that the matter is in court and fight it legally," said Karnataka CM on the scheduled visit of the Maharashtra ministers.

    Meanwhile, in Belagavi's Chikkodi as a precautionary measure, police presence has been tightened along the border.

    According to police, six Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) contingents are deployed in Nippani Taluk. 450 policemen assigned to Kuganolli Check Post. Senior officials such as the Superintendent of Police (SP) Additional SP, DSPs, Police Inspectors, Sub-inspectors and 450 police personnel have been deployed.

    All inner roads of Nippani and Chikkodi taluk are blocked. Police are checking every vehicle entering the border.

    Belgaum or Belagavi is currently part of Karnataka but is claimed by Maharashtra.After the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956, the Maharashtra government demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka.

    Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states. Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer Kannada-speaking 260 villages predominantly, but it was turned down by Karnataka. Now, both Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have approached the Supreme Court to expedite the matter, and the matter is still pending.

    (With inputs from ANI)

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