Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday accused the BJP-led central government of siding with Karnataka in the Supreme Court over the Belgaum border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra. In an interview with Sena's mouthpiece Saamana's executive editor Sanjay Raut, Uddhav called the developments in the border dispute 'shocking'
"I am committed toward a unified Maharashtra... Whatever is happening in Belgaum is shocking. I will meet the committee looking after this matter. The central government is a guardian of all states and is expected to be unbiased towards all states, but it is shocking that Centre is taking sides with Karnataka in Supreme Court for last the five years. This is really shocking," Thackeray said.
On December 7 last year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had chaired a high-level meeting over the border dispute between the two states. It was decided in the meeting that attempts will be made to get fast track hearing on the border issue in the Supreme Court.
Earlier on January 19, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said that Belgaum border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra is a long-pending dispute but can be resolved if Union Home Minister wants. "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 is a long-pending issue. He should pay attention to this too," he said while speaking to ANI in Belagavi.
Raut also 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."
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.
(with ANI inputs)