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Border Dispute: Shinde Under Fire, Bommai Supported By Opposition

Whereas opposition parties in Maharashtra have been cornering the Shinde-Fadnavis government over the contentious border dispute with Karnataka, all political parties in the neighbouring state have joined hands to oppose Maharashtra’s demand for merger of Marathi-speaking areas with the state. Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai has floated the idea of adopting a unanimous resolution in the state assembly to assert his state’s territorial status. The opposition Congress and other parties have agreed to support the unity gesture. Incidentally, they have kept mum over the issue, allowing Bommai to articulate Karnataka’s oft-repeated stand. On the other hand, various opposition leaders in Maharashtra have criticised CM Eknath Shinde over the statements coming from across the state border and his alleged silence about the whole matter. Despite intervention by Union home minister Amit Shah, tension continues to rise between the two states since then. Maharashtra excise minister Shambhuraje Desai has threatened to rethink about Koyna dam water supply from the state to Karnataka during summer season. Shiv Sena (Uddhav) MP Sanjay Raut has alleged that Shinde had been swallowing insults hurled at him by Bommai over the issue. No other state has humiliated Maharashtra like this, he commented. Leader of the opposition Ajit Pawar promised the government that it will receive opposition support to a similar resolution if it were moved in the Maharashtra assembly.