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Maharashtra Legislature Reaffirms Claims On Marathi-Speaking Areas, But State Opposition Leaders Not On The Same Page

Maharashtra legislature expectedly adopted a unanimous resolution on Tuesday to endorse afresh the state’s position that the disputed 865 towns and villages with a majority Marathi-speaking population in Karnataka belong to the state. However, unlike in Karnataka, political fissures surfaced at Nagpur later. Opposition members became agitated when chief minister Eknath Shinde said that the border dispute with the neighbour existed even when both states were under the Congress party rule. They charged that Shinde was trying to politicise the issue. On the other hand, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s demand that the disputed areas should be made a Union Territory was deflated by opposition leader Ajit Pawar, who warned that similar demands could arise about the Maharashtra areas like Jath claimed by Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. Moreover, as the matter was before the Supreme Court, the feasibility of fulfilling the demand would have to be examined accordingly, he said. Pawar also did not attach any importance to Sena (Uddhav) MP Sanjay Raut’s threat that he would make several ‘explosions’ soon, indirectly warning the Shinde-Fadnavis government. Pawar said, “Better ask those who made such statements. I have not said any such thing.” The unanimous resolution says that Marathi-speaking people in the disputed areas have been subjected to atrocities by the Karnataka government. It has reaffirmed Maharashtra’s resolve to fight the case before the Supreme Court by appointing best legal minds.