NCP chief Sharad Pawar to lead delegation of Shiv Sena MPs to meet PM on border dispute and Maratha quota

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will lead a delegation of Shiv Sena members of the parliament (MPs) from Maharashtra to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek his intervention of an early resolution of the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute and the state’s case for the restoration of 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs for the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018. This was announced by Shiv Sena group leader in the Lok Sabha Vinayak Raut.

Raut said that the central government should become party to the ongoing legal battle in the Maratha reservation case in the Supreme Court. “NCP president Sharad Pawar will lead the delegation of Shiv Sena MPs to meet Modi. The central government should intervene, so that the long pending Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute is resolved. As far as the Maratha quota is concerned, the delegation will urge the PM for the Centre to become a party and cooperate with the state government so that the apex court vacates the interim stay granted in September last year,” he said. He added that the apex court had already asked the Attorney General to file an affidavit.

Raut said the party has already boycotted the President’s address to the joint session to protest against the Centre’s apathy towards issues raised by the farmers. He added that Shiv Sena wants that the debate on the farm laws enacted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in haste should be held through the adjournment motion.

Shiv Sena’s move came days after the ongoing war of words between the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners and the BJP-led government on the border dispute. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that the areas dominated by Marathi-speaking people at the state’s border with Karnataka should be declared as a Union Territory till the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the issue. He strongly criticised the Karnataka government over the alleged atrocities on the Marathi-speaking population in those areas and said that there is a need to fight to win the case for their inclusion in Maharashtra.

Thackeray’s call was strongly retaliated by Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who said Mumbai ought to be declared a Union Territory until it was merged with Karnataka, as it was once part of the Bombay-Karnataka region and, hence, the people of that state had a rightful claim to it.

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