In a bid to counter the Karnataka government, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in Nagpur on Tuesday, 27 December.
Through it, the legislature resolved to legally pursue the inclusion of 865 Karnataka-located villages dominated by Marathi-speaking people into Maharashtra.
The Eknath Shinde-led-Maharashtra government moved the resolution in both Houses (Assembly and Council). It was passed unanimously.
“The state government stands resolutely with the Marathi-speaking people in 865 villages and cities of Belagavi, Karwar, Nipani, Bidar, and Bhalki that are being contested in the Supreme Court,” it said in the resolution.
“The state government will legally pursue the case in the apex court to include inch to inch of the land of the 865 villages of Karnataka into Maharashtra,” it added.
It may be noted that the Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed a similar resolution on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border, claiming that “an inch of land will not be given to Maharashtra”.
In the resolution passed in Belagavi on 22 December, Karnataka also claimed that the border dispute was created by Maharashtra.
Bommai condemns Maharashtra resolution
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condemned the resolution passed by the Maharashtra legislature on Tuesday.
He told reporters: “We will strongly condemn the Maharashtra resolution. It has been many years since the State Reorganisation Act, 1956, has been accepted. People on both sides are living peacefully.”
He added: “It is their (Maharashtra) habit to make provocative statements and pass such resolutions for their political gains. We are firm with our stand. We won’t give an inch of land to Maharashtra.”
Bommai also said: “There are a lot of differences between the resolutions passed by the states. Maharashtra’s resolution clearly says that it will take our (Karnataka) land, whereas our resolution says that we will protect our land.”
He added: “There is no value for it as the matter lies before the Supreme Court. I am confident of getting justice. Their move is to bring damage to the basic fundamentals of federal structure.”
Siddaramaiah lashes out at Maharashtra
Displaying unity over the border dispute, Congress leaders including Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president DK Shivakumar also condemned the resolution passed by the Maharashtra legislature on the border dispute.
Siddaramaiah said: “On the request of the Maharashtra government, the Mahajan Commission was constituted in 1966. The commission gave a detailed report in 1967. Karnataka not only welcomed the report but also accepted it. The Mahajan Commission report is final.”
He added: “The Union government must initiate action against Maharashtra’s BJP unit. They always make provocative statements. They have no right over any piece of land belonging to Karnataka.”
Siddaramaiah also claimed that Maharashtra was legally weak on the matter.
Condemning the resolution, Shivakumar said: “It is at the time of polls they are provoking a border dispute. Not a single village of Karnataka can be given to Maharashtra.”
He added: “We know how to protect our people and borders. The Marathi-speaking people, who are living in the border areas, are Kannadigas and they love to be at peace.”
Shivakumar also said: “We have built the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi to protect the interests and safeguard the people residing in the border areas.”
Even Kannada organisations condemned the resolution passed by the Maharashtra legislature.