Nagpur: The raging controversy over the Maharashtra Karnataka border issue rocked the proceedings of the state assembly on the inaugural day of the two-week winter session of the legislatures here in Nagpur.
The opposition parties slammed the state government for not taking an aggressive stand against the BJP-led Karnataka government especially after the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena MP Mr Dhairyasheel Mane was prohibited entry in Belgaum today. Mr Mane was recently appointed the chief of an expert committee formed by the Maharashtra government regarding the writ petition in the Supreme Court on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
CM & DY CM say opposition politicising matter
However, Chief Minister Mr Eknath Shinde shot back accusing the opposition of politicising the border dispute with Karnataka. Mr Shinde, who along with DCM Mr Devendra Fadnavis last week met the union home minister Mr Amit Shah, urged the opposition that they should all stand together with the residents residing along the border.
Ban on Mane discussed at length in house
Leader of Opposition Mr Ajit Pawar raised the issue of ban on Mr Mane imposed by the Karnataka government from entering Belgaum as the district authorities cited that his possible inflammatory speech may create law and order problems there.
‘’There was meeting of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) on Monday wherein some leaders and other people from Maharashtra were stopped by the Karnataka government. Shiv Sena MP Dhairyasheel Mane was not allowed to enter Belgaum. We condemn this incident," said Mr Pawar. He demanded that the government should collect information on this and inform the House about it.
Leader of opposition in Legislative Council Ambadas Danve also condemned the ban on Mane from visiting Belgaum.The MES has been demanding the merger of Belgaum with Maharashtra claiming the district has a substantial Marathi population.
Mr Pawar also demanded that the CM and DCM should take firm action on the border dispute.
However, Mr Shinde said, "For the first time, the Union Home Minister has mediated in the inter-state border dispute (between Maharashtra & Karnataka). He took the matter seriously. I told him that it is a matter of Maharashtra’s pride, and he, therefore, took the meeting."
CM Shinde lashes out at opposition
The Chief Minister lashed out at the opposition including NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray and claimed that the meeting with Shah took place at their request and it was for the first time that took place in recent times on the border issue. He also slammed the MVA government for suspending the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund and various other schemes meant for the Marathi speaking people from the border area.
"We should not politicise the border dispute. There are other issues that you can politicise. We should stand together with the border residents.The matter is in the Supreme Court, we should wait. We should not politicise the matter," he added.
NCP raises demand on border dispute
NCP leader Mr Chagan Bhujbal demanded that the house should pass a resolution extending their support to the Marathi speaking people from the border area. CM in his response replied that such a resolution will be passed in the state legislature.
Earlier in the day, the MVA parties staged a protest against the Shinde government outside the Legislative Assembly in Nagpur and raised slogans. Mr Pawar was seen holding "50 Khoke (crore), Ekdum Ok" poster-- a jibe the Opposition uses to attack Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction alleging that Shinde's MLAs took Rs 50 crore from the BJP to fell the MVA government in Maharashtra.
Mr Pawar was accompanied by the Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashok Chavan, NCP's Chhagan Bhujbal and others who were also present outside the assembly protesting against the Shinde government.
Notably, despite both state governments agreeing not to make any claim against each other over any region and that a resolution should be reached in a constitutional manner, the Opposition has been instigating the border row.
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