‘Don’t Test Our Patience’: Sharad Pawar On Maharashtra-Karnataka Border Row

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday slammed Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on the Belagavi border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka. Pawar warned that the issue shouldn’t take a wrong turn and that Shinde shouldn’t test the Opposition’s patience.

“Despite Eknath Shinde‘s talk with Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, the latter has not shown any sign of relenting. One must not test our patience, and this shouldn’t go in the wrong direction. CM Shinde must take all the parties in confidence before deciding on anything,” he said.

ALSO READ | What Is Belagavi Border Dispute? A Battle Maharashtra And Karnataka Have Been Fighting For Decades

He also urged MPs to raise the issue in the Winter Session of Parliament that is beginning tomorrow. “The Parliament session is about to begin. I request all MPs to come together and take a stand on the same,” he said.

Pawar’s remarks came after trucks with Maharashtra licence plates were stopped in Belagavi and smeared with black ink and pelted with stones by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada organisation turned violent amid the festering — and lately escalating — inter-state border dispute.

WHAT IS THE MAHARASHTRA-KARNATAKA BORDER DISPUTE?

Belgaum, renamed Belagavi, is currently a part of Karnataka, but Maharashtra also stakes claim to it. The dispute started when the states were divided based on linguistic lines under the State Reorganization Act in 1956. Belgaum was then part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, which covered Maharashtra, parts of Gujarat, and North Karnataka. During the state reorganisation process, Belgaum and the surrounding villages were included in Mysore Princely state (now Karnataka) despite having a Marathi-speaking population in the majority. This sowed the seeds of the dispute.

ALSO READ | Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Workers Hurl Stones At Truck With Maharashtra Registration, Detained

Maharashtra later invoked 21 (2)(b) of the State Reorganisation Act and submitted a memorandum to the central government objecting to Marathi-speaking areas going to Karnataka. The state claimed over 7,000 square kilometres, including 814 villages and three towns — Belgaum, Nippani, and Karwar.

On November 21 this year, the Maharashtra government announced the extension of its social welfare schemes such as benefits of the chief minister relief funds, health insurance, and pension to the bereaved families of people who died fighting in the border dispute region. Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai claimed that panchayats in Jat taluka of Maharashtra’s Sangli district had passed a resolution to merge with Karnataka.

(With inputs from ANI)

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