While Maharashtra claims the border district of Belagavi was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency on linguistic grounds, this is presently a part of Karnataka.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today voiced “regret” that several Marathi-speaking villages along the shared border with Karnataka were not a part of the state. The remarks were made during an event at Pune City Police headquarters in Shivajinagar to commemorate Maharashtra Day.
On this Maharashtra Day, we still regret that several Marathi-speaking villages at state border including Belgaum, Nipai and Karwar couldn’t be part of our state yet. I assure you we’ll keep supporting the fight by the people of these villages to become a part of Maharashtra,” Pawar said after a flag hoisting event in Pune.
Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed after the enactment of the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960. Both states mark May 1 as its foundation day.
Reiterating his remarks, the Deputy CM also took to Twitter with an assurance that the state would “continue its fight till the last Marathi village in the border area” became a part of Maharashtra.”The dream of joining all the Marathi villages in the border areas including Belgaum, Karwar, Nipani, Bidar, Bhalki seen during the United Maharashtra Movement is still unfulfilled,” he noted.
The border dispute has long been a bone of contention between the two states. While Maharashtra claims the border district of Belagavi was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency on linguistic grounds, this is presently a part of Karnataka. The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (which had previously submitted a report to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray) has been fighting for the merger of 800-odd villages with Maharashtra.
Karnataka lawmakers meanwhile insist that the border row had already been settled by the Mahajan commission report.”Thus regionalism and talk of linguistics are detrimental to the unity of the country. In Karnataka, the Marathas are living with Kannadigas. While the Kannadigas in the border districts of Maharashtra are living with the Marathas,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had siad earlier this year in January.