Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar on Wednesday asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to immediately lead an all- party delegation to the Centre on the border dispute with Maharashtra, as he accused him of doing a "lip service with hollow statements" on the issue. Reacting to Bommai's statement that Karnataka will not cede even an inch of land to Maharashtra, he urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to give a public assurance on the matter.
"Not surprised that CM is merely doing lip service with hollow statements. If he actually means that he doesn't want to cede an inch of Karnataka to Maharashtra, he should immediately take an all-party delegation to Delhi and let the Home Minister give a public assurance on the matter," Shivakumar said in a tweet.
Terming Maharashtra Legislature's resolution on the border issue as "irresponsible and against federal structure," Bommai on Tuesday had asserted that not even an inch of the State's land will be ceded. The Maharashtra Legislature on Tuesday had unanimously passed a resolution to "legally pursue" inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka into the western State, amid the raging boundary dispute between the two States.
The border row had intensified in the last few weeks, with vehicles from either side being targeted, leaders from both the States weighing in, and pro-Kannada and Marathi activists being detained by police amid a tense atmosphere in Belagavi. The border issue dates back to 1957 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 sizeable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to over 800 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.
Karnataka maintains the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final. And, as an assertion that Belagavi is an integral part of the State, Karnataka has built the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha.