Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday said his government was keen to resolve the long-pending border dispute with Karnataka and did not want to indulge in political mudslinging over the sensitive issue.
Shinde and his Karnataka counterpart Basavraj Bommai on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi in the backdrop of simmering tension between the two states and attacks on vehicles after the border row flared up.
Talking to reporters here, the Maharashtra CM said Bommai has clarified that he had not tweeted anything that would hurt sentiments of the people of the western state.
Shinde said it was for the first time that the central government had stepped in to resolve the deadlock over the decades-long border dispute between the two states to ensure peace prevails on both sides and citizens are not adversely affected.
“The Union Home Minister has given certain directions (with regards to border row). This has never happened before,” claimed the Chief Minister.
At the Delhi meeting, Shah had asked the chief ministers of Maharashtra and Karnataka to set up a six-member joint ministerial panel to deal with the dispute and not make any territorial claims till the Supreme Court pronounces its verdict on the border row.
When asked about the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)’s criticism on ”fake” Twitter handles of Bommai, Shinde said he did not wish to politicise the issue.
“Bommai has clarified he had not tweeted anything (objectionable) and Amit Shah has given directions to probe fake Twitter handles (whose posts apparently fuelled tension between the two states),” said the Maharashtra CM, adding he wanted a solution to the border row and not political mudslinging over the issue.
The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Karnataka’s Belagavi district, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, as it has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 814 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of the southern state.
Karnataka, however, considers the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final.