K’taka strongly counters Maha over border dispute
Bengaluru, Nov 18 (IANS): Taking strong objection to the Maharashtra’s repeated claims over Belagavi and Karwar (Uttara Kannada) districts, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Wednesday that the two districts will always remain integral parts of Karnataka.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the state Cabinet meeting here, Yediyurappa wondered why Maharashtra often rakes up this issue which was settled long ago.
“The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka was settled long ago. Karnataka firmly believes that the recommendations of the four-member Mahajan Committee on this issue are final and undisputable. Therefore, I appeal to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar or any other leaders against making any such claims,” he said.
Hitting out at his critics, the CM said that he was forming the Maratha Development Authority only to help the Maratha community and not to promote Marathi language in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who is from Belagavi district, said, “I will write to Ajit Pawar asking why he said this.”
Yediyurappa’s political secretary M.P. Renukacharya said, “I warn Pawar, be careful about making such instigating statements.”
Meanwhile, the members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and several pro-Kannada activists held protests in Bengaluru and other parts of the state against the Yediyurappa government’s decision to form the Maratha Development Authority and also against Pawar’s remarks.
Pawar had stated in Maharashtra on Tuesday that inclusion of Belagavi and Karwar would only complete the unification of Maharashtra which was the dream of the late Balasaheb Thakrey. His statement triggered a barrage of angry reactions and protests in Karnataka.
Karnataka and Maharashtra have been at loggerheads for decades over areas along the border in districts such as Belagavi, Karwar and Nipani.