Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: Bommai’s words spark controversy once again

Karnataka CM lays claim on Jat tehsil in Sangli

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, November 24, 2022, 08:44 AM IST
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Karnataka CM Basavraj Bommai | Photo: PTI

Days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde chaired the maiden meeting of the reconstituted high power committee ontheborderdispute with Karnataka, latter’s Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s statement that his government is “seriously considering” laying claim on the Jat tehsil in Sangli district has sparked a major political controversy.

Bommai on Tuesday claimed that panchayats in Jat taluka of Maharashtra had passed a resolution in the past to merge with Karnataka when there was a severe drought situation and acute drinking water crisis. He said his government has evolved schemes to help them by providing water. His government is seriously considering it (laying claim), he said. This has drawn criticism from both the Maharashtra government and opposition parties.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Ajit Pawar, demanded a clarification from Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying, “Chief Minister of Karnataka belongs to the BJP. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister is from the BJP. The state government should sit together and clearly tell the people what its position is.”

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut alleged that it’s a ploy to divide Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Fadnavis declared that not a single village will go to Karnataka.He said, “The Jat resolution was passed in 2012. It is an old proposal. We have not received any new proposal from Karnataka. Maharashtra’s stand on claiming Carvar, Nippani and Belagavi was non-negotiable. We will fight for our stand within the legal framework in the SupremeCourt,”he said.

Maharashtra Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai, who is the member of the high power committee, said that Bommai’s statement should not be taken seriously. “Bommai has come up with some ridiculous old demand. The villages in Jat tehsil had reportedly passed a resolution more than a decade back to pressurise the then state government to address their demand of water supply from Krishna .”

“The state has already cleared a proposal to supply water to the arid regions. The cost of the project is around Rs 1,200 crore. A technical scrutiny is underway. It means those villages will definitely get water from Maharashtra,” Desai said.

Maha delegation to meet PM, HM

A delegation of the Maharashtra government will soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on its border dispute with Karnataka, state minister Shambhuraj Desai said on Wednesday. His statement came after Karnataka formed a lawyers’ team to fight the matter in the court.

The Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra has already appointed Chandrakant Patil and Desai to coordinate with a legal team regarding the court case on the issue. Desai said, “Karnataka is fighting its battle. We will fight ours. We will demand justice for Maharashtra from them (the PM and HM). Whatever is required, we will provide those 85 villages. We have also submitted a proposal to the CM in this regard."

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