New Delhi, December 14
The Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Maharashtra have agreed not to stake their respective claims over the long-pending boundary dispute between the two states till the Supreme Court takes a final view on the issue, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday.
Briefing media after meeting the two Chief Ministers — Basavaraj Bommai and Eknath Shinde — Shah said, “There has been an agreement that till the Supreme Court delivers its verdict, the state governments will not make any claim. The dispute should be resolved through talks. A ministerial committee comprising three representatives each from the two states will be formed to discuss the contentious issues.”
The Home Minister met the Chief Ministers of the two states amid a flare-up of the dispute that dates back to 1957. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra were also present during the meeting.
Over the last weeks, trucks from Maharashtra have been attacked in Karnataka and buses of the southern state have been defaced by workers of the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena.
A senior police officer would also be deputed to look into the law-and-order issue so that travellers and traders from either side of the two states face no problems, Shah said, adding that police cases would be filed against those, who fan discontent on social media.
Noting that fake Twitter accounts have also come to light in flaring up the situation in the border district, the Home said, strict action would be taken against those holding these and FIRs would be lodged against them.
He also appealed to opposition parties in both states not to politicise the issue and wait for the top court’s verdict.
Maharashtra had been upset over the inclusion of Marathi-speaking areas — including Belgavi, part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency — in Karnataka during the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines. It also laid claim to 814 Marathi-speaking villages, which are currently part of Karnataka.
Karnataka, however, maintains the demarcation is final and there can be no change.