Amid escalating tensions between Karnataka and Maharashtra over the Belagavi border issue, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said that whatever the Supreme Court decides on the matter, the party will accept its verdict. Raut appealed to Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa that the border issue should not be converted into a "language" issue. He also said that this "long-pending" issue can be solved by Home Minister Amit Shah if he wants to since under him the Centre resolved the Kashmir issue and abrogated Article 370.
Speaking to ANI on Sunday in Belgavi, Raut said, "Belagavi has always been special for us. Leave the border dispute, but Belgavi and adjacent areas have been fighting for 70 years, to be included in Maharashtra. The matter went to the Supreme Court, just like the Ram Mandir issue, this is in the Supreme Court for 14 years. It should take some time out to at least know the issue. We will accept whatever the Supreme Court decides."
The Rajya Sabha MP added, "But till then, lakhs of Marathi people who live here and being put behind bars on criminal charges against them, Marathi schools, people working in the field of Marathi literature being banned. All of this should not happen here and generally across the country as well. Not just Marathi but banning any other regional language in any other state is unconstitutional. Lakhs of Marathi people live here, they will follow their language and culture. I would like to appeal to Karnatakataka CM that set aside the border dispute, but don't get into language dispute. I will also speak to CM Thackeray that both CMs should discuss urgent remedies in this matter."
"If Home Ministry can resolve Kashmir issue and abrogate Article 370 then I think this border issue can be resolved too if Amit Shah wants. The matter comes under the Home Ministry. It's a long-pending issue. He should pay attention to this too," Raut said. Raut had reached Belagavi amid escalated tensions between Karnataka and Maharashtra over a border dispute. He arrived at Belagavi on Saturday, a day after Maharashtra MoS Rajendra Patil Yadravkar was detained by police and sent back to Maharashtra for attempting to take part at an event organised by Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti in Belagavi.
Maharashtra claims Belagavi, part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, but currently a district of Karnataka, on linguistic grounds. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had in December 2019 appointed ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Eknath Shinde as co-ordinators to oversee his government's efforts to expedite the case related to the boundary dispute with Karnataka.