Maharashtra Assembly passes resolution to 'legally pursue' inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking Karnataka villages into Maharashtra

Tags: State News

Maharashtra Assembly passes resolution to 'legally pursue' inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking Karnataka villages into Maharashtra

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on 27 December 2022 unanimously passed a resolution to "legally pursue" inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka into Maharashtra. The resolution was moved by Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde. 

He said that the state government will legally pursue in the Supreme Court the case to include inch and inch of land of the 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka," said the resolution passed in the Maharashtra Assembly.

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly had on 22 December 2022 unanimously passed a resolution on border row with Maharashtra, resolving to protect the state's interests and not to cede an inch of land to its neighbour Maharashtra.

Border Dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra

The genesis of the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra lies in the reorganisation of states in India. 

Mysore which was later renamed as Karnataka was formed under the State Reorganisation act 1956 on 1 November 1956. 

Maharashtra which was known as Bombay state in 1956 claimed the northwestern district of Karnataka, Belagavi as it was dominated by Marathi speaking people. 

An organization Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti was formed in Belagavi which led a violent agitation to merge Belagavi with Maharashtra.

Centre set up Mahajan Commission 

In October 1966 the central government set up a commission chaired by the retired Supreme Court Judge Justice Meharchand Mahajan on the border dispute between the two states. The commission submitted its report in August 1967, where it recommended merging 264 towns and villages of Karnataka (including Nippani, Nandgad and Khanapur) with Maharashtra, and 247 villages of Maharashtra (including South Solapur and Akkalkot) with Karnataka. 

However there was no agreement between the two states on the Mahajan commission recommendation.

Why dispute erupts in winter  

The border issues almost always flare up in winter. To assert its claim on the region, Karnataka has built its State legislative Assembly (Suvarna Vidhana Soudha) in Belagavi. The winter session of the Karnataka assembly is always held in winter in Belagavi and it is always opposed by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti. The pro Kannada activist also opposes the demand of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti activities leading to clashes between the two.

Issue in the Supreme Court 

Maharashtra approached the Supreme Court in 2004, challenging the State Reorganisation Act. It demanded 865 villages and towns from five Karnataka districts to be merged with the state. The five districts are Belagavi, Karwar, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Bidar. However the Supreme Court is yet to decide on the maintainability of the Maharashtra petition.

Chief Minister of Karnataka: Basavaraj Bommai

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