Fadnavis had said on Wednesday, “No village in Maharashtra will go to Karnataka! The state government will fight strongly in the Supreme Court to get Marathi speaking villages in Karnataka including Belgaum-Karwar-Nipani!”
Both Bommai and Fadnavis are senior leaders of the BJP.
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde has also maintained that no village of Maharashtra will be allowed to merge with any other state.
Belagavi border dispute case between Maharashtra & Karnataka to be heard in SC
Earlier this week, the Shinde government in Maharashtra appointed two ministers to coordinate with its legal team regarding the court case on the dispute, which is set to come up in the Supreme Court. Soon, the Bommai government in Karnataka too deployed a battery of top lawyers, including Mukul Rohatgi and Shyam Diwan, to fight its case.
Bommai earlier claimed that the Panchayats in Jath Taluka in Sangli district of Maharashtra had passed a resolution in the past to merge with Karnataka when there was a severe drought situation and acute drinking water crisis, and the Karnataka government devised schemes to help them by providing water.
Responding to this, Fadnavis said on Wednesday: “These villages had introduced a resolution on the issue of water scarcity in 2012. Presently, none of the villages have introduced any resolution.”
The dispute dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of the two states on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim on Belagavi, earlier known as Belgaum, which was part of the Bombay Presidency at the time of independence, on linguistic grounds. Belagavi, bordering Maharashtra, has a significant population of Marathi-speaking people, and has for decades been a bone of contention between the two states. The matter reached the Supreme Court in 2004 and continues to be pending.