new Delhi: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday (December 18, 2022) criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for meddling in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, but ignoring the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
In his weekly column ‘Rokhthok’ in the party mouthpiece Saamana, he alleged, “Prime Minister Modi mediates in the Russia-Ukraine war but turns a blind eye to the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute. This is not a sign of a good politician.”
Raut also said that the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka is a struggle for humanity and not a fight between the people and governments of the two states.
The Rajya Sabha MP said, “The struggle of the Marathi-speaking population in Belagavi and surrounding areas, who were included in Karnataka against their will during the reorganization of states, cannot be brutally crushed.”
“If the central government and the Supreme Court cannot resolve this issue, then from where can one seek justice,” he said.
The Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue dates back to the 1957 reorganization of states on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Karnataka’s Belagavi district, 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.
The decades-old border dispute has recently escalated, with vehicles from both sides being targeted, leaders of both states weighing in, and pro-Kannada and Marathi activists being gunned down by police amid a tense atmosphere in the border district of Belagavi. has taken into custody.
Sanjay Raut said that “it is good” that Union Home Minister Amit Shah took the initiative towards resolving the issue. However, he questioned whether the central government would take a neutral stand and demanded that Parliament should resolve the border dispute.
He suggested, “Instead of expecting the Supreme Court to redirect the matter to Parliament, what is the harm if Parliament finds a solution at the earliest.”
The Shiv Sena leader said that instead of making provocative statements against Maharashtra, Karnataka CM Bommai should have held talks with organizations and leaders of Marathi speaking people in Belagavi to resolve the dispute.
“It is clear that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is too weak to face Bommai’s aggressive stance of claiming territories in Maharashtra,” he said.
Raut said that during the meeting of the two chief ministers called by Shah on the issue, it was decided that status quo should be maintained.