There is a growing feeling in Maharashtra that the border dispute has been instigated purposely to facilitate BJP’s victory in the 2023 Karnataka assembly elections, to be fought under the chief minister Basavaraj Bommai. Karnataka CM raked up the contentious feud all of a sudden some days ago, taking opposition leaders in Maharashtra by surprise since they were busy attacking governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over his remarks about Chhatrapati Shivaji. Just then, demands by people in several villages along the border to be included in Karnataka added to the overall concern. To add to the tension, violent outbursts by pro-Kannada elements forced their hand. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray articulated this doubt while warning that Bommai must not complicate the situation further. “It is clear who is fuelling the dispute from across the border with an eye on the 2023 Karnataka assembly elections,” he has stated in a written communication. Violence against the Marathi-speaking population must stop, he has warned. While Raj has worded his missive cautiously, Shiv Sena (Uddhav) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has alleged that Union home minister Amit Shah is behind the imbroglio. The opposition’s theory is that Bommai has failed on all fronts and hence is in search of a sentimental issue to whip up pro-Kannada sentiments. Moreover, he is worried because of the huge response to Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka.