Times of India | 1 week ago | 24-11-2022 | 05:35 pm
BENGALURU: The political heat over the inter-state border row has escalated with Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai hitting back at Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis terming his statement on the issue "provocative". "No village in Maharashtra will go to Karnataka! The state government will fight strongly in the Supreme Court to get Marathi speaking villages in Karnataka including Belgaum-Karwar-Nipani!," said Fadnavis. In a retort, Bommai, terming it a provocative statement, said: "His (Fadnavis') dream will never come true. Our government is committed to protecting our state's land, water and borders." He further said that there was no question of giving up any space in the border districts of Karnataka. In fact, he said: "Our demand is that the Kannada speaking areas of Maharashtra like Solapur and Akkalkot should join Karnataka." The dispute over Belagavi dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of States on linguistic lines. Earlier this week, the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra appointed two ministers to coordinate with the legal team regarding the court case on the dispute set to come up in the Supreme Court. Bommai said soon after that the State has deployed a battery of top lawyers, including Mukul Rohatgi and Shyam Diwan, to fight its case. Bommai said since 2004, the Maharashtra government has filed a case in the Apex court over the border issue. "So far they have not succeeded and they will not succeed in future as well. We are geared up to strengthen our legal battle." The Karnataka CM had claimed that the Panchayats in Jath Taluka in Sangli district 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, and his government has evolved schemes to help them by providing water. Responding to this, Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur on Wednesday: "These villages (in Jat Taluk) had introduced a resolution on the issue of water scarcity in 2012. Presently, none of the villages have introduced any resolution." Karnataka has repeatedly maintained that the Mahajan Commission report on the border issue is final, and "there is no question of letting go even an inch of Karnataka's border". Bommai reiterated this week that there is no example to show that what had been done under the States Reorganisation Act was reviewed. "The border dispute is a political tool used by all parties in Maharashtra. But they will never succeed," he had said. Shinde said earlier this week: "Late Balasaheb Thackeray was always a staunch supporter of the state's demand to make Belgaum (Belagavi) a part of Maharashtra. We have concentrated our focus on solving the issue. If required, the number of lawyers would be increased".
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. ”
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Under attack from the opposition over the violence on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke to Union home minister Amit Shah on the phone on Wednesday, requesting his intervention. 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. Fadnavis said, “I spoke to Amit Shah on the phone and apprised him of the situation. I said that an attack on Maharashtra’s vehicles without cause was not appropriate. I told him that I had spoken to the Karnataka chief minister. I also asked him to clearly tell (Basavaraj) Bommai that attacks on vehicles at the border should be stopped immediately by any state. ” Shinde said that he had also spoken to Bommai. “I spoke to the Karnataka chief minister and said there should be strong action against those who attacked the vehicles from Maharashtra. And since the border issue is in the Supreme Court, law and order should be maintained in both states,” Shinde said. 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. Won’t tolerate provocative actions: Arga JnanendraKarnataka home minister Arga Jnanendra on Wednesday said Karnataka 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 hours and meet with activists. Jnanendra said police in both Maharashtra and Karnataka have held meetings and are working together to defuse tension on the border. He said: “The government has taken all possible precautions to ensure that there is no untoward incident or allow any person from Maharashtra to come and play with the emotions of people by making provocative statements. The Karnataka government will not allow such acts to take place. ” Earlier, Govind Karjol, water resources and minister in charge of Belagavi district, 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. “The Mahajan Commission report on the border is final. Both sides must remember that we live in a federal structure and we must be responsible while making statements. ” He said Maharashtra politicians are trying to gain political mileage from raking up the border dispute.
Mumbai: Chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday reviewed the progress of the Mumbai beautification works ahead of the G20 (Group of 20) meeting which will be held in the city later this month. Officials said that 187 beautification works will get underway on Thursday. A statement from the CM’s office said the projects will visually transform Mumbai and add to its glory. “Beautification work has been accelerated in the last four months. Decisions like concretization of roads, beautification of koliwadas, and upgradation of hospitals will add to the glory of dynamic Mumbai. The meetings of the G20 Council are being held in Maharashtra and the first meeting will be held in Mumbai,”the statement said. According to the statement, 5,000 cleanliness ambassadors should be appointed to beautify Mumbai in order to ensure a change in its appearance by giving priority to cleanliness. “Important buildings should be illuminated, important roads, squares, skywalks, flyovers should be beautified. This work should be undertaken on a mission mode,” the statement from the CM’s office stated.This year, India received the presidency of G20. Officials said that 161 meetings or events will be held in India of which 14 are to be held in Maharashtra. In the state, these meetings will be held in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur. A meeting of the G20’s Development Task is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from December 13 to 16.
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday sought Union Home Minister Amit Shah's intervention in resolving the current situation arising out of the border row with Karnataka as the Opposition called for an all-party meeting on the matter and targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Centre over the emotive issue. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he spoke to Shah and apprised him about developments related to the boundary dispute with Karnataka over the last one week, a period marked by war of words between leaders of the two neighbouring states, attacks on vehicles and protests by activists. A statement from Fadnavis's office said Shah patiently heard the Deputy Chief Minister's views on Maharashtra's stand on the decades-old boundary dispute which has flared up in the last few days, leading to tension in border areas. Fadnavis also apprised Shah about his telephone conversation with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday. The deputy CM spoke to Bommai following attacks on vehicles from Maharashtra entering Karnataka in the adjoining state's border district of Belagavi. The border dispute between the two states spilled onto roads on Tuesday with stones being hurled at vehicles entering Karnataka from the Maharashtra side near a toll booth at Hirebaugwadi in Belagavi district. Similarly, at least four buses from Karnataka were defaced in Pune district allegedly by activists of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Fadnavis said he has sought Union Home Minister Shah's intervention in the matter. "Vandalism of vehicles from Maharashtra is not good. Such a situation between two states is not good. I apprised him (Shah) of what I spoke to the Karnataka CM yesterday and urged that he, too, should speak to Bommai. Shah said he will look into the matter," said the Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, talking to reporters separately, said he spoke to his Karnataka counterpart Bommai over the phone on Tuesday night and demanded strict action against those who vandalised vehicles bound for the adjoining state. "Till the matter (border dispute) is in the Supreme Court, no law and order issue should be created which harms people from both states. (During telephonic talk) Bommai agreed to take action against perpetrators," said Shinde. The Maharashtra CM said he also apprised Shah about the situation arising out of the decades-old boundary dispute. Meanwhile, Opposition parties continued to target the Shinde-BJP government over the border issue and prevailing tension in border areas. The Congress alleged the border dispute with Karnataka is being stoked by the BJP under a conspiracy to "divide" Maharashtra and demanded Chief Minister Shinde convene an all-party meeting to explain the government's stand. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole alleged the Karnataka Chief Minister was working on the instructions of the central government and select industrialists. "The BJP is stoking the border dispute with Karnataka as part of a conspiracy to divide Maharashtra," Patole alleged. He dubbed the Shinde-led regime as the "worst" government in the history of Maharashtra. "The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka is deliberately vitiating the environment in border areas and Marathi-speaking people are being beaten up and their property is damaged. "The people of Maharashtra will not tolerate the bullying by Karnataka. Maharashtra has taken a stand of observing restraint, but if we lose our restraint, Karnataka and the Central government will have to bear the consequences," Patole warned while talking to reporters. " Karnataka Chief Minister Bommai is making inflammatory statements every day but there is no response from the Maharashtra government. The situation is such that people are questioning whether there is a government in Maharashtra or not," he said. Patole said the "attacks" by Karnataka in the border areas were a serious matter. Another senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat asked the Shinde-BJP government to clarify its position on the border issue. "Trucks, buses and vehicles are being vandalized in Karnataka. Maharashtra will not tolerate these kinds of attacks from Karnataka," said the former minister. Thorat sought to know if Karnataka, also ruled by the BJP, is receiving any instructions from the Centre over the border issue. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader and MP Sanjay Raut demanded that Belagavi be declared a Union Territory and claimed incidents of violence in the border district cannot take place without "Delhi's support". He also hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Shinde, saying the state government appeared weak and helpless to counter such attacks. Hitting back, Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Chandrashekhar Bawankule asked the Rajya Sabha member to refrain from making "baseless and provocative comments". Talking to reporters, Raut said Belagavi and surrounding Marathi-speaking areas along the Karnataka-Maharashtra border be declared a Union Territory. "If Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has guts, he should demand the disputed areas be declared as a Union Territory immediately," he said. Taking a dig at Maharashtra ministers Shambhuraj Desai and Chandrakant Patil for "backing out" from visiting Belagavi on Tuesday, Raut said, "We will give them protection and march with them". Maharashtra's state-run bus operator said it has suspended 382 services to Karnataka, of the total 1,156 services operated by it daily to the neighbouring state. The decision of partial suspension of bus services to Karnataka was taken following the instructions from the local police and the district administration, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) said in a statement. The border issue dates back to 1957 when states were reorganised 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 814 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of the southern state. Karnataka, however, considers the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final. In a related development, the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) on Wednesday suspended its services to Maharashtra after reports emerged of some buses being defaced and damaged in the regions bordering Belagavi district. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike again held agitations in the border regions following the defacement of buses. In Bengaluru, Karnataka minister Govind Karjol ruled out the possibility of calling an all-party meeting at present to discuss the border dispute with Maharashtra and asserted the state government was handling the case legally.