Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will take the final call on whether the ministers appointed for coordinating the state’s border dispute with Karnataka should visit the contested areas.
Ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai, who has been appointed as coordinating ministers, are scheduled to meet activists of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) at Belagavi in Karnataka on December 6 and hold talks with them on the border issue.
Speaking to reporters here, Fadnavis said, “The two ministers, who had earlier announced visiting the disputed areas, were invited by locals on the occasion of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s death anniversary. Our opinion is to avoid any legal complications by arranging such a visit to the disputed areas. However, the final call on the ministers’ visit will be taken by the chief minister.”
Belagavi, Karvar and many villages on the Maharashtra and Karnataka border are in dispute over which state should get their administrative control. The dispute is pending before the Supreme Court since Maharashtra’s inception in 1960.
“Nobody should be prohibited from visiting a place, as we are an independent country. However, the case related to the disputed area is still going on in the Supreme Court and we want to avoid any further complications in the issue. Nobody can stop the ministers from visiting the disputed areas if they decide to do so,” the deputy chief minister said.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said that he will ask his Maharashtra counterpart Shinde not to send his cabinet colleagues to Belagavi, as their visit may disrupt the law and order situation in the border district.