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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Maharashtra vs. Karnataka – Shivsena once again FUELS chaos with its Linguistic Politics

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Shiv Sena has been in massive controversies since it has formed an alliance with Congress and NCP to satiate the ego of Uddhav Thackeray so that he can fulfill his long-cherished dream of becoming a CM of Maharashtra one day. Since Day-1, Shiv Sena has been indulged in all sorts of anti-National and anti-Hindu acts and it is pushing its agenda of hatred and communalism.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stirred another controversy on Wednesday when he said that the disputed border area between Maharashtra and Karnataka should be made a Union Territory until the matter was decided in the Supreme Court.

He almost threatened Karnataka government and said no matter what, the disputed part would be made a part of Maharashtra. He further said that “Ideally, status quo must be maintained in an area under dispute and the case is being heard in the apex court. But Karantaka government has renamed it Belgaum, given it the status of second capital of the State and holds its Assembly session there. Doesn’t it amount to disrespecting the court?”.

As expected, this ill-timed statement of Uddhav Thackeray created unrest and provoked Karnataka’s deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi. Who retorted that “Mumbai should be made part of his state, and urged the Centre to at least declare it a Union Territory.”

Why Uddhav Thackeray creating tention between Maharashtra and Karnataka?

Shiv Sena is known for its strategy to create a divide among the people. After Uddhav Thackeray became the chief minister under the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in 2019, he sensed this opportunity to create unrest between two states and appointed ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Eknath Shinde as coordinators to oversee the state’s efforts to expedite the case filed in the Supreme Court related to the dispute.

The dispute between the two states over Belgaum and other border areas has been pending before the Supreme Court for several years, but the issue has erupted into a firestorm after the Maharashtra CM said his government is committed to incorporating into the state the areas of Karnataka where Marathi-speaking people are in majority.

He made the statement in the presence of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and his deputy Ajit Pawar, who has earlier stoked the issue by saying that Belagavi, Karwar and Nipani needed to be included in Maharashtra as it was a “dream of Balasaheb Thackeray”.

By bringing Balasaheb Thackeray in this issue, Uddhav has started provoking Marathi people against Karnataka as people are still so sensitive about Balasaheb.

What is the origin of this dispute?
The land dispute over the border areas between Maharashtra and Karnataka had began after the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay State – once part of colonial Bombay Presidency – a part of the then Mysore state. This happened because states were divided on the basis of linguistic and administrative lines. The issue has been pending in the Supreme Court for several years.

What Karnataka and Maharashtra claim?
Maharashtra has for long claimed that certain areas that are a part of Karnataka – Belagavi, Karwar, and Nippani – should be handed over to Maharashtra. The state contends that the majority of the population in these areas is Marathi-speaking.

Karnataka, on the other hand, maintains that Belagavi is an integral part of the state and has built the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, modelled after the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in Bengaluru, where a legislative session is held once a year.

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa had in November reiterated that the state considers Mahajan Commission report to be final.

Karnataka CM said that “I condemn Maharashtra DCM Ajit Pawar’s statement. The whole world knows that the Mahajan Commission report is final. Marathi people here are like Kannadigas in our state. We have created a corporation here for the development of Marathas,”

What Mahajan Commission report recommends?
The Reorganisation of States Commission, while demarcating state borders, included talukas with an over 50 per cent Kannada-speaking population in Mysore. However, opponents of this demarcation argue that Marathi-speakers outnumbered Kannadigas who lived there in 1956.

The Mahajan Commission, under former Chief Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan, was formed in October 1966 to resolve the issue after the then Bombay government in September 1957 had lodged a protest with the Centre.

The Commission had in August 1967 recommended that 264 villages be transferred to Maharashtra and that Belgaum and 247 villages remain with Karnataka. Maharashtra had rejected the report, calling it biased and illogical, and demanded another review. Karnataka welcomed the report, and has ever since continued to press for implementation, although this has not been formally done by the Centre.

Maharashtra continues to press with its demand that 814 villages from Karnataka be transferred to the state after the linguistic population of each state is counted.

Conclusion

It is agreed that there is a dispute between two states. However, there is a way to settle this dispute amicably and respectfully. Uddhav Thackeray lacks the leadership qualities and that is evident from his ill-mannered statement on this issue, which may create more tension between both states and their people. Uddhav Thackeray lacks maturity and sensibility, which is required to rule a state and work with other states to settle ongoing disputes. He thinks running a state is like ruling a family corporation i.e. Shiv Sena.

We only hope that a good sense may prevail and these unnecessary issues will be settled down soon.

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