The Economic Times | 2 weeks ago | 23-11-2022 | 10:36 pm
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said no village in Maharashtra has sought merger with Karnataka recently, and there is no question of any border village "going anywhere". Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had claimed on Tuesday that some village panchayats in Jat taluka of Maharashtra's Sangli district had passed a resolution in the past seeking to merge with Karnataka when they were facing a severe water crisis. The Karnataka government had devised schemes to help them by providing water, and his government was seriously considering the proposal of Jat villages, he said. "These villages had introduced a resolution on the issue of water scarcity in 2012. Presently, none of the villages have introduced any resolution," Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur. When he became Maharashtra chief minister, his government entered into an agreement with Karnataka to sort out the water issue, he said. A water supply scheme was chalked out for the Jat villages when Girish Mahajan was water resources minister in his cabinet, the BJP leader added. "We are now going to give approval to that scheme. Perhaps because of Covid, the previous (Uddhav Thackeray-led) government could not approve it," Fadnavis added. "Presently, none of the villages have raised such demand (of merger with Karnataka). The demand is of 2012," he said. "Not a single village of Maharashtra will go anywhere," Fadnavis stressed. Sudhir Mungantiwar, BJP leader and Maharashtra minister, blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for the long-pending dispute. "The dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka is actually the gift of late prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru," he said without elaborating. The case is now before the Supreme Court and any resolution passed by village panchayats would not affect the court's verdict, he told reporters. "If resolutions are to be taken so seriously, then what about the villages in Karnataka which have passed resolutions seeking to join Maharashtra," he asked. Earlier in the day, another Maharashtra minister Shambhuraj Desai said the Karnataka chief minister's claims should not be taken seriously. The decades-old border dispute over Belagavi (earlier Belgaum) between Maharashtra and Karnataka is in news again due to recent statements from both sides. On Monday, Bommai had said he had formed a formidable legal team of senior lawyers to deal with the border dispute when it comes up in the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the Maharashtra government appointed Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai as nodal ministers to coordinate with the state's legal team regarding the pending court case. Talking to reporters here, Desai said, "As Maharashtra has reconstituted its team to take forward the Karnataka border dispute in the Supreme Court, Bommai has come up with some ridiculous old demand. It should not be taken seriously. 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 the Krishna river." There is no such official documentation or resolution available with the Maharashtra government, he added. "As per my information, the Maharashtra government has already cleared a proposal to supply water for irrigation to the arid parts of Jat tehsil. The cost of the project is around Rs 1,200 crore. A technical scrutiny of the project is underway," Desai said. The border dispute dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of States on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 80 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.
Good morning! Get your day started with the top reads from today’s edition.Gujarat, Himachal election results todayThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to return to power for a seventh consecutive term in Gujarat, riding on the Narendra Modi-wave. All eyes, however, are on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is flying high after its win in the civic polls in Delhi, and hopes to create dents in the BJP bastion. A question remains over the Congress’s fate after its low-key campaign in the state.In Himachal Pradesh, meanwhile, exit polls have predicted a tight race between the BJP and Opposition Congress, with AAP’s bid falling short after it redirected its energies to the Gujarat elections.Head to indianexpress.com for live updates on the counting of votes, analysis and more.Here are five other stories you shouldn’t missThe role, however, comes with its own set of challenges — from an uphill task of selecting a mayor to tackling issues it attacked the BJP on.While the BJP has managed to perform better than exit polls had predicted, would it have retained its control over the MCD had it not been unified? Take a look at our analysis.The Congress, meanwhile, has won just nine out of 250 seats in the MCD, losing its hold over a city it once governed.2. The UP police thought it was a simple open-and-shut case. They believed that a 14-year-old girl, who went missing from her home in Aligarh, was killed and dumped over 90 km away in Agra by her neighbour. Little did the family and police know that the girl was now a married woman, a mother of two children, working mustard fields, attending weddings and religious functions at her new home in Hathras. A chance meeting with a katha vachak (storyteller) blew her cover and the police investigation.3. As tensions continue to mount along the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, the inter-state dispute was echoed in the Parliament on Wednesday. NCP member Supriya Sule accused Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of “making ad hoc statements” and “conspiring to break Maharashtra”. Ruling BJP MPs from Karnataka took objection to her remarks and pointed out that the matter is in Supreme Court.4. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unveiled its latest review of the monetary policy. In it, the RBI cut India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast for the current financial year, maintained the inflation forecast, and raised the repo rate by 35 basis points. Why has RBI taken this hawkish stand? What does the GDP forecast signify about economic recovery? Udit Misra explains. 5. FIFA World Cup 2022: After Morocco’s win over Spain, the team’s star player Achraf Hakimi tore away to the enclosure where his mother was seated. He climbed over the barricade and hugged her, tears rolling down the eyes of both. Not just Hakimi, you could see several other teammates in the embrace of their parents. In fact, parents of most of the Moroccan players are in Doha to watch their children play, many capping long journeys of hardship and pain. 🎧 Before you go, tune in to our podcast, ‘3 Things’: In today’s episode, we talk about the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Goldy Brar’s alleged detention and subsequent interview, and delay in Ayodhya Mosque after 2019 Supreme Court judgement.Until tomorrow, Sonal Gupta and Rahel Philipose
Will it be a seventh consecutive term in power for the BJP in Gujarat; how many seats will the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), flying high after its victory in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections on Wednesday, win; and what will be the Congress’s fate after it ran a low-key campaign?If the exit polls are anything to go by, the BJP is set to equal the Left Front’s record in West Bengal on Thursday while the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is not likely to cross 10 seats in the 182-member Assembly. The Congress, whose spirited campaign had brought down the ruling party’s tally to 99 seats in 2017, is expected to register its worst performance in Gujarat, with none of the pollsters giving the grand old party more than 51 seats.The BJP’s campaign blitzkrieg was centred around Prime Minister Narendra Modi who crisscrossed the state, making an emotional pitch to Gujaratis to “strengthen him”, the son of the soil. He addressed around 30 rallies and road shows, wrapping up the campaign with two roadshows and covering more than over 50 km in Ahmedabad city that is considered to be the BJP’s bastion. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was the second-most prominent campaigner for the party. He was in the state for almost two months, micromanaging the campaign and election strategy for the BJP. He also spent a considerable time in his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, finalising the candidate list and trying to pacify rebels.The BJP also deployed its heavy-hitters such as chief ministers Yogi Adityanath, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Pramod Sawant, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and national president JP Nadda for campaigning. The ruling party struck a balance between playing its Hindutva card — it raked up issues such as the 2002 riots and “love jihad”, and in its poll manifesto promised an anti-radicalisation cell and the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code — and its caste arithmetic.Unlike in 2017, when the Patidar quota agitation hit the party hard and benefitted the Congress, this time the BJP tried to get the caste calculus right. It dropped veterans and fielded at least 19 candidates who were originally from the Congress, emphasising “winnability” at the cost of some dissidence in its rank and file.AAP’s debutThe AAP put as much effort into its campaign as the BJP, with its convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann addressing almost as many rallies a day as Modi. With a debilitated Congress running a quiet campaign, the AAP succeeded in creating the perception that it is the main Opposition to the BJP. In a state where the BJP is overwhelmingly dominant, it projected itself as a better candidate to be a more vigilant Opposition than a deflated Congress.Kejriwal’s campaign was based on a call for change after decades of BJP rule and focused on pushing the Delhi school model, a set of “10 guarantees,” and the promise to take pilgrims to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Though the party is expected by all to open its account, most likely it has to be content with having a foundation on which it can build for the future in a state that has never had a third front.Interestingly, both the Congress and the BJP found common ground in their Opposition to the AAP, saying that the noise it created is disproportionate to its strength and that history isn’t on Kejriwal’s side when it comes to a third front. Former CMs Shankersinh Vaghela who led the Rashtriya Janata Party and Keshubhai Patel who led the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) failed in building a third front in the state.Congress’s troublesIn 2017, the Congress was able to take advantage of the churning in the state resulting from the disenchantment of the Patidar community, farmers and traders with the BJP. Before the elections, it deputed its top leader Ashok Gehlot, the current Rajasthan CM, to Gujarat well in advance and allocated significant resources for campaigning.But this time, Rahul Gandhi, who led a major outreach and travelled across the state, was busy with the Bharat Jodo Yatra and visited Gujarat only for a day. Save Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, other top leaders of the party were absent. Though former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia claimed that this strategy of running a grassroots campaign “helped the candidates focus on the real issues of price rise, unemployment, on which the BJP avoided a debate”, the exit polls showed this will likely fail and lead to a further shrinking of its footprint in a state where it has been out of power for more than three decades.
A bandh call has been given in the industrial city of Pimpri-Chinchwad on Thursday in protest against the controversial remarks of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and BJP spokesperson Sudanshu Trivedi. The call has been given by the NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress, VBA and at least 100 social and voluntary organisations.“Essential services, hospitals, ambulances, schools and colleges have been exempted from the bandh. The NCP, Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray, Congress, VBA, AIMIM and at least 100 organisations are supporting the bandh,” Maruti Bhapkar, one of the organisers of the bandh, said.Activist Manav Kamble said the bandh has been called to protest against the “insulting” remarks of Koshyari and Trivedi. “We want the Governor to be shifted out of Maharashtra. The Governor has insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj twice and it seems like there is a BJP conspiracy behind this,” he said.Bhapkar said the bandh will be enforced from 9 am to 5 pm. “All shops, industrial units, eateries and markets will remain closed to support the bandh,” he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday directed state officials to expedite the Jalyukta Shivar scheme and prioritise the work of desilting canals and streams.“Water availability, planning and irrigation facilities are matter of concern for farmers. A large number of watershed works, which result in irrigation potential, need to be undertaken. Jalyukta Shivar scheme has given major benefits to farmers and therefore planning must be done to expedite the scheme now,” said Shinde during a review meeting of the soil and water conservation department.Shinde directed that financial as well as human resources should be provided to increase the scale of works under the scheme, which was implemented between 2014 and 2019, when Devendra Fadnavis was the chief minister of Maharashtra. After the Maha Vikas Aghadi government came to power, allegations of malpractices were made and Jalyukta Shivar was halted.The Indian Express had, in October, reported that Jalyukta Shivar – a pet scheme of Fadnavis – is set to make a comeback and the newer version of the scheme will have a mix of technical and social approach towards water conservation.When contacted, Fadnavis said the state government is relaunching the Jalyukta Shivar scheme. Jalyukta Shivar 2.0 will include approximately 5,000 new villages where technical works of water conservation — such as deepening and widening of water bodies, construction of small earthen dams and digging of farm ponds — will take place. These are villages which were not covered during the 2014-2019 phase of the scheme. The other component of the scheme will include more than 22,000 villages where water conservation works were carried out from 2014 to 2019. The work here will be about spreading water literacy, water management and conservation principles.
The tension between the two BJP-governed states has escalated over the last fortnight against the backdrop of imminent hearing of the SC case on the border dispute. Karnataka also faces assembly polls in April-May 2023. Here are key points about the ongoing border row between two neighbouring states: Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke to Union home minister Amit Shah on the phone on Wednesday, requesting his intervention on the issue. The border tension also echoed in Parliament with demonstrations from Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP MPs. In the Lok Sabha, NCP leader Supriya Sule asked for intervention from the Union home minister. Karnataka home minister Arga Jnanendra said the state will not allow any Maharashtra functionary to make provocative statements in Belagavi. Jnanendra’s warning comes in response to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and former Maharashtra CM Sharad Pawar saying he would travel to Belagavi in the next 48 hoursand meet with activists. Karnataka home minister Arga Jnanendra said police in both Maharashtra and Karnataka have held meetings and are working together to defuse tension on the border. Karnataka minister and minister in charge of Belagavi district, Govind Karjol, said the Maharashtra government and its functionaries need to understand that all states are under a federal structure and they must respect all parties. “Karnataka will not sacrifice an inch of its land,” said Karjol. He said Maharashtra politicians are trying to gain political mileage from raking up the border dispute. ‘End attacks, or trips to Karnataka will stop’ An outfit staged a protest outside Karnataka Bank in Nashik and Shiv Sena (UBT) workers blackened two Karnataka state transport buses on Wednesday. Maharashtra’s transporters said they would stop movement of trucks to Karnataka if the attacks on their vehicles don’t end. For peace, but no change in stand on row, says Bommai Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde said he had also spoken to his Karnataka counterpart Basavaraj Bommai. “I said there should be strong action against those who attacked vehicles from Maharashtra. And since the border issue is in Supreme Court, law and order should be maintained in both states,” Shinde said. Confirming the talk, Bommai tweeted, “We both agreed there should be peace and law and order should be maintained in both states since there is a harmonious relationship between people of both states. ” He added, “There is no change on our stand as far as Karnataka border is concerned. Legal battle will be pursued in SC. ” Sanjay Raut targets Shinde and Centre Saying the Shinde government was “impotent,” Shiv Sena’s (UBT) Sanjay Raut also targeted the Centre. “Vehicles would not have be-en attacked without support of Delhi. In 3 months, Maharashtra had been made a doormat of the Centre. ” He said Belgaum be made a Union territory. BJP state chief C Bawankule said, “Raut has been released after 3 months in jail. He has picked up language from other prisoners. ”