The Belagavi Broth That Just Keeps Heating Up: Revisiting History of Karnataka-Maharashtra Border Row

In the latest development on the growing border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his counterpart Basavaraj Bommai held a telephonic conversation to work towards its resolution. read more

After the phone call, Bommai took to Twitter and assured the two leaders that they agreed to “maintain peace and law and order”. Supreme Court.

Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Eknath Shinde (left) and Basavaraj Bommai. (File photo: PTI)

Peace prevailed in Belagavi and other parts of the district on Wednesday, a day after pro-Kannada organizations protested along the border line, affecting normal life. Protests were held here on Tuesday against the proposed visit of two Maharashtra ministers amid the border dispute.

But what is the issue and what is its origin? News18 explains:

What’s happening on the latest front?

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

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. This development took place even a day after prohibitory orders were imposed. 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.” “The Chief Minister of Karnataka assured Fadnavis of strict action against the culprits. He also assured Fadnavis that proper security would be given to vehicles entering Karnataka from Maharashtra.

Later speaking 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.

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

In Bengaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister Bommai tweeted about his talks with his Maharashtra counterpart Shinde, but insisted that there was no change in his state’s stand as far as the border issue was concerned.

In a tweet, Bommai said, “Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Eknath Shinde had a telephonic discussion with me, we both agreed that peace and law and order should be maintained in both the states.”

He said that the people of both the states enjoy cordial relations, however, there has been no change in our stand as far as the Karnataka border is concerned. And the legal battle will be fought in the Supreme Court.” In Mumbai, the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came under fire from the opposition for Maharashtra ministers Patil and Desai not visiting Belagavi as planned earlier.

What is border row?

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.

Belgaum was originally part of the multilingual Bombay Presidency. Karnataka districts such as Vijayapura, Belagavi, Dharwad and Uttara Kannada were earlier part of the Bombay Presidency. After India’s independence in 1947, Belgaum became part of Bombay State. According to the 1881 census, 64.39 percent of people in Belgaum spoke Kannada, while 26.04 percent spoke Marathi.

However, in the 1940s, Marathi-speaking politicians dominated Belgaum and requested that the district be included in the proposed United Maharashtra state.

Despite his protests, the States Reorganization Act of 1956 incorporated Belgaum and ten taluks from Bombay State into the erstwhile Mysore State, which was renamed Karnataka in 1973. This act divided the states on linguistic and administrative basis.

Mahajan commission report

The Bombay government filed a protest with the Centre, resulting in the formation of the Mahajan Commission in 1966 under former Chief Justice Mehar Chand Mahajan.

In its 1967 report, the commission gave 264 villages to Maharashtra and 247 to Karnataka in the disputed area. However, the commission decided that Belgaum should remain in Karnataka. While Maharashtra rejected the report, Karnataka demanded status quo.

The Maharashtra government filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2006, claiming ownership of Belgaum. According to the state government, “there has been a feeling of insecurity among Marathi-speaking people living in Karnataka in the recent past.” Meanwhile, Belgaum district, as well as Belgaum city, remains a part of Karnataka.

winter sports

Whenever the session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly is held in Belagavi, tensions arise between the states. In 2021, during the Belagavi session, the face of an MES worker was blackened by Kannada activists for organizing an event demanding Belagavi’s merger with Maharashtra. The Indian Express reported that a few days later, a statue of freedom fighter and Kannada icon Sangolli Rayanna was vandalized in Belagavi city.

State Reorganization Act

The States Reorganization Act, 1956 reformed the boundaries of Indian states and territories, arranging them on the basis of language. The new draft Constitution of India, which came into force on January 26, 1950, divided the states into four main types: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D.

Part A states were former governors’ provinces of British India, while Part B were former princely states or groups of princely states. Part C states included the former Chief Commissioner’s Provinces and some princely states and Part D was administered by a lieutenant governor appointed by the central government.

At the time of independence in 1947, India There were over 500 unconnected princely states which were temporarily divided into Part A, B, C and D states. The States Reorganization Commission was constituted on December 29, 1953, primarily on the basis of languages, to ease administration and to replace caste- and religion-based identity with less-controversial linguistic identity.

With inputs from PTI

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