Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday spoke to Karnataka CM BS Bommai over the phone discussing prevailing tension along joined border areas of their states.
Fadnavis expressed his disappointment over attacks on Maharashtra’s buses in several parts of Karnataka. Karnataka Chief Minister assured security of all buses coming from Maharashtra.
"I have spoken with Karnataka CM, he gave positive response. Our constitution provides everyone the right to live and work in any state. I will take this issue to Home Minister Amit Shah. I request people of Maharashtra to not react," said Fadnavis.
NCP’s ultimatum on the border issue
NCP chief Sharad Pawar gave a 24-hour’s ultimatum to resolve the issue, saying if the government fails to stop the violence, his party will resort to befitting agitations.
"Despite CM Shinde's talk with Karnataka CM, he has not shown any softness on the issue...One must not test our (Maharashtra) patience and this shouldn't go in the wrong direction," Pawar said.
Sprayed paint on Karnataka buses in Pune
Seven people detained for spraying paint in Pune. "No incident of vandalism was reported. Process underway to file a case. We are yet to identify the outfit or party of those detained," said Samarthana Pati, DCP Zone 2, Pune Police.
Maharashtra Deputy CM and Karnataka CM at loggerheads over the issue
Earlier on November 23, Fadnavis said no village in Maharashtra has sought merger with Karnataka recently, and there is no question of any border village "going anywhere".
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had claimed on November 22 that some village panchayats in Jat taluka of Maharashtra's Sangli district had passed a resolution in the past seeking to merge with Karnataka when they were facing a severe water crisis.
The Karnataka government had devised schemes to help them by providing water, and his government was seriously considering the proposal of Jat villages, he said.
"These villages had introduced a resolution on the issue of water scarcity in 2012. Presently, none of the villages have introduced any resolution," Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur.
When he became Maharashtra chief minister, his government entered into an agreement with Karnataka to sort out the water issue, he said.
A water supply scheme was chalked out for the Jat villages when Girish Mahajan was water resources minister in his cabinet, the BJP leader added.
"We are now going to give approval to that scheme.Perhaps because of Covid, the previous (Uddhav Thackeray-led) government could not approve it," Fadnavis added.
"Presently, none of the villages have raised such demand (of merger with Karnataka). The demand is of 2012," he said.
"Not a single village of Maharashtra will go anywhere," Fadnavis stressed.
BJP blams Jawaharlal Nehru for the long-pending dispute
Sudhir Mungantiwar, BJP leader and Maharashtra minister, blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for the long-pending dispute.
“The dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka is actually the gift of late prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru," he said without elaborating.
The case is now before the Supreme Court
The case is now before the Supreme Court and any resolution passed by village panchayats would not affect the court's verdict, he told reporters.
“If resolutions are to be taken so seriously, then what about the villages in Karnataka which have passed resolutions seeking to join Maharashtra,” he asked.
Earlier in the day, another Maharashtra minister Shambhuraj Desai said the Karnataka chief minister's claims should not be taken seriously.
The decades-old border dispute over Belagavi (earlier Belgaum) between Maharashtra and Karnataka is in news again due to recent statements from both sides.