As border row escalates, Maharashtra suspends bus services to Karnataka; Eknath Shinde, Basavaraj Bommai speak over phone

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New Delhi: A proposed visit of a ministerial delegation from Maharashtra to Karnataka’s Belagavi did not take place on Tuesday amid tension along the border line, while transport corporation MSRTC suspended bus services in the southern state citing a police advisory. Amid growing border dispute between the two states, the chief ministers of Karnataka and Maharashtra spoke to each other over the phone on Tuesday night and agreed that peace and law and order should be maintained on both sides. In a related development, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over stone pelting on vehicles entering the state from adjoining Maharashtra and said he would take up the matter with the Center as well.

Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai, appointed to coordinate the state’s border dispute with Karnataka, were to visit Belagavi district on Tuesday but the visit did not take place, prompting opposition parties to dub them “cowards”. Gave. ,

Both the ministers were scheduled to meet Maharashtra Integration Samiti (MES) activists in Karnataka’s Belagavi and hold talks with them on the decades-old boundary issue. MES is an organization fighting for the integration of Belagavi and some other border areas into Maharashtra.

A day earlier, Bommai said he would ask his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde not to depute his cabinet colleagues – Patil and Desai – to Belagavi, even in border districts, citing law and order. Prohibitory orders were also imposed in Regarding the proposed visit of the delegation.

The Maharashtra State Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on Tuesday afternoon suspended bus services to Karnataka citing police advisory, a top official said.

MSRTC vice-chairman and managing director Shekhar Channe told PTI that the decision has been taken for the safety of Karnataka-bound commuters and to avoid damage to their property.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Fadnavis spoke to Karnataka Chief Minister Bommai over stone pelting on vehicles entering the southern state from Maharashtra and said he would take up the matter with the Center as well.

He blamed Karnataka for creating unnecessary row over the border row after the Maharashtra government last month appointed two ministers to coordinate with the legal team in connection with the court case on the decades-old border dispute between the two states.

Against the backdrop of rising tension between the two states over the border line, a video surfaced on social media showing some people pelting stones at vehicles entering Karnataka from Maharashtra at Hirebagwadi in Belagavi district of the neighboring state. There is a toll booth nearby.

Sources close to the Maharashtra Deputy CM said, “Fadnavis called Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and expressed his disappointment over the Hirebagwadi incident.”

Sources said, “The Chief Minister of Karnataka assured Fadnavis of strict action against the culprits. He also assured Fadnavis that proper security will be given to vehicles entering Karnataka from Maharashtra.”

Talking to reporters, Fadnavis said, ‘I am also going to inform Union Home Minister Amit Shah about today’s incident. If such incidents keep happening between the two states then it is not a good thing.

The deputy CM, who also holds the home portfolio, said the constitution allows free movement of people in the country.

He said, “The Constitution has given everyone the right to travel from one state to another, start business or live anywhere. If this fundamental right is being violated, then the concerned state should stop such incidents.”

The border issue dates back to the reorganization of states on linguistic basis in 1957. Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, because it has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 814 Marathi-speaking villages that are currently part of the southern state. Karnataka, however, considers the demarcation done on linguistic basis as per the States Reorganization Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final.