Uddhav Thackrey

Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) President and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday demanded that the disputed areas be declared as Union Territories amid the ongoing controversy over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.

Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on the border issue with Karnataka, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stated that the Opposition remains in support of the resolution.

Speaking to reporters, Thackeray said, “We supported today’s resolution. Whatever happens in favor of Maharashtra, we will support it. But there are some questions. For over two years, people (living in border areas) have been demanding to include them in Maharashtra. What are we doing about that?”

“Today government replied that the disputed area cannot be declared as a Union Territory as said by Supreme Court in 2008. However, the situation is not the same now. The Karnataka government is not following it. They are doing an Assembly session there and renamed Belagavi. So we should go to Supreme Court and ask SC to declare it as UT,” added Thackeray.

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the resolution on the state’s dispute with Karnataka over border areas. Chief minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday tabled a resolution in the state Assembly on the state’s dispute with Karnataka over border areas.

The state assembly unanimously passed the resolution which says that Maharashtra will fight the pending case in the Supreme Court with full strength for the inclusion of every inch of 865 villages including Belgavi, Karwar, Nipani, Bidar Bhalki in Maharashtra.

The resolution also condemned the Karnataka administration for its anti-Marathi stand in the border area. According to the resolution the Maharashtra government will stand behind the Marathi people in border areas and will go for a legal fight in the Supreme Court to ensure that these areas become a part of Maharashtra.

The Central Government should urge the Karnataka Government to implement the decision taken in the meeting with the Union Home Minister and the government should be given the understanding to guarantee the safety of the Marathi people in the border areas, the resolution read. On Monday, former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray speaking in the state Legislative Council said Maharashtra should be declared a Union Territory.

“It is not just a case of language and border, but of ‘humanity’. Till the issue is pending before the Supreme Court, the Karnataka-occupied Maharashtra should be declared as a Union Territory by the central government,” he said.

Thackeray further said that Marathi people residing in the border villages have faced “injustice”.

“Marathi-speaking people have been residing in the border villages for generations. Their daily life, language, and lifestyle are Marathi. They do not understand Kannad,” he said speaking in the Upper House.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka legislature said that the state’s stand over the border issue is a settled one, and not an inch of land will be given to the neighboring state.

Thackeray also had hit out at the Karnataka Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai. Notably, the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka dates back to the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956. The then Maharashtra government had demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka.

Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states. The Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer 260 predominantly Kannada-speaking villages, but the proposal was turned down by Karnataka. Both governments later approached the Supreme Court to expedite the matter.

By Archana

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