In the inaugural budget presented by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Friday, Maharashtra Finance Minister Ajit Pawar made an important announcement pertaining to Karnataka. Marathi schools in Karnataka have been sanctioned Rs.10 crore as financial help. Moreover, a grant will be provided to Marathi newspapers in Karnataka. This move assumes significance in wake of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s strong stance on the state’s border dispute.
There has been a longstanding dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over the status of predominantly Marathi-speaking regions such as Belagavi. Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly on December 20, 2019, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray re-ignited the tensions as he referred to these areas as 'Karnataka-occupied Maharashtra'. Moreover, he accused the BJP government in Karnataka of oppressing the Marathi-speaking people.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray remarked, "Like PoK, there is a Karnataka-occupied Maharashtra. People in Belagavi are not only Hindus but also Marathi-speaking people and wanted to be part of Maharashtra. However, they are facing oppression from the BJP-led government in Karnataka. Even for speaking the truth, the Belagavi mayor was booked for treason."
On January 17, 2020, Rajendra Patil Yedravkar- Maharashtra's MoS for Public Health and Family Welfare was detained by the police in Belagavi, Karnataka and escorted him to the border. The minister had come to participate in the martyr’s day programme of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES). Reacting to this, Sena MP Sanjay Raut alleged that the minister was roughed up by the police and not allowed to pay his respects to the martyrs. Thereafter, Raut himself visited Belagavi.
Replying to the Governor's address in the Karnataka Assembly on March 2, 2020, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa ruled out giving any land to Maharashtra. He cited the Mahajan Committee report to buttress his claims. Furthermore, he asserted that more government departments would be shifted to Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi.
Yediyurappa said, “Maharashtra has often been raising the border issue. However, our government stand is clear that the Mahajan Committee report on the border dispute is final. Not an inch land will be given to Maharashtra.”