The issue of land dispute heads-up again to create tussle between Karnataka and Maharashtra. Union Home Minister Amit Shah tried to mitigate the tensions between the two states by asking them to stay silent on the matter until the apex court comes with its verdict on the matter.
On Wednesday, Amit Shah after attending the meeting with Maharashtra's CM Eknath Shinde and Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai advised them both to form a team which will consist of 6 members, 3-3 from both the states. He also emphasized on the fact that this matter needed to be resolved as prescribed by the constitution.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured people that the matter will be sorted in a peaceful manner and no comments from either side will be entertained by any political leader of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
This long standing issue suddenly erupted again when the vehicles were being stopped from crossing the border without the state's permission. As per the reports, due to disturbances by the activists from Karnataka and Maharashtra, the trucks were stopped at the Belagavi border.
This issue came in the cognizance of people and matter was elevated. Tension started increasing when the chief ministers of both states talked on phone and agreed to reach a peaceful resolution on the matter.
In recent times, the politicians of both the states have not only thrown harsh comments on each other but also they have dragged the historical freedom fighters in this tussle. Dr. Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Juotiba Phule are included in the list. This has enraged people as well as politicians of Maharashtra. Now, MVA(Mahavikas Aghadi) has organized a huge rally on Saturday to protest against this insult by another state. They have listed all their concerns and issues for which they are inviting people of Maharashtra with them on December 17th. Uddhav Thackeray, Ajit Pawar and Prithviraj Chavan all the important faces of Maharashtra will stand together in this huge rally. In a press conference, Pawar told the media that they have applied for all sorts of permissions needed to organize the rally and they hope to get the green flag for the rally very fast.
The area of Belagavi is well acquainted with protests since 1957. Belgaum, also called Belagavi, currently belongs to Karnataka but because of the residence of Marathi speaking people in the area, Maharashtra treats the region as its own.
After the implementation of States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka was drawn in a new way. Within a few months of this act, the government of Maharashtra sent a memorandum to the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) and claimed that a total 2806 square miles area of erstwhile Mumbai presidency has been unfairly included in Karnataka. This area with a population of around 7 lakh people includes 814 villages, 3 urban areas - Belagavi, Karwar, Nippani. These all areas are situated in the North and West part of Karnataka and share borders with Maharashtra.
After this claim of Maharashtra, a 4-membered committee was set up and Maharashtra agreed to transfer 260 villages having around 3.25 lakh population of Kannada speaking people. This transfer of around 1160 square miles was offered by Maharashtra in return of its 2806 square miles area of Marathi speaking people but Karnataka didn't agree to it.
Maharashtra's political parties keep promising about taking back the Belagavi region which escalated the issue. Maharashtra claims that this will bring the people of same ethnicity together and will help in their development. Linguistic homogeneity will help them flourish rapidly. Maharashtra also affirms Karwar and Supa regions where people speak Konkani and Maharashtra argues that Konkani is just a dialect of Marathi.
On the other hand, Karnataka is in no mood for negotiation. Karnataka admits to the State Reorganisation Act, 1957 and doesn't see any problem in it. Karnataka is of the opinion that such issues will only bring disharmony and clashes in the society, so such issues shouldn't be allowed to ramp up.
Central government has always been determined to resolve the issue. In 1966, Mahajan Committee was set up for the purpose and it recommended that few villages of Karnataka's taluk Haliyal, Karwar and Suparna. But the committee hadn't commented on Belagavi.
The Supreme Court also advised to resolve the issue mutually. For now, the case is still being heard in the Supreme Court. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has also convinced the people of both the states to have patience till the Supreme Court's verdict arrives.