Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condemned the alleged incidents of pro-Maharashtra slogans being painted on Karnataka buses on Friday and urged the Eknath Shinde government to take immediate action to put a stop to this. According to Bommai, such incidents will cause a schism among the states, so Maharashtra should act quickly.
According to reports from Pune, a group of activists allegedly from a pro-Marathi organisation painted state-owned buses in black ink with slogans such as “Jai Maharashtra” and raised slogans against Bommai. The alleged incidents occur during a spat between the leaders of the two states over an inter-state boundary dispute over Belagavi.
“Our India is a union of states. Every state has got its own rights. These states were formed under the State Reorganisation Act. The law is very clear and it is the duty of the respective government to maintain peace, law and order and see that there is peace and tranquillity between the states,” Bommai told reporters here.
Reacting to the incidents of painting buses, he said “If somebody is doing it (painting vehicles), I condemn it and I urge the Maharashtra government to take immediate action and stop this.” “It will create a divide among the States. Therefore, the Maharashtra government should act swiftly, I especially urge the Deputy Chief Minister, the Home Minister of the state (Devendra Fadnavis) to take immediate action,” the Chief Minister said.
He said, “We are law-abiding people and we are within our rights.”
Maharashtra filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2004, and Karnataka has been fighting a legal battle that will continue in the future, according to Bommai. “We are confident that justice will be served. We will fight with everything we have. We will protect our borders and our people “Bommai stated.
“I made it very clear yesterday that our first priority is to fight a legal battle because ultimately, when the case is pending before the Supreme Court, ultimately the Supreme Court has to take a call,” Bommai said of holding talks with the Maharashtra government. According to him, the case filed by Maharashtra is not about the merits of the application (petition), but about the case’s maintainability.
“Article three (of the Indian constitution) is very clear about the state reorganisation. I don’t want to say anything. Let the Supreme Court take a call on that.” He reiterated an all-party meeting has been convened next week to discuss the boundary dispute issue. The Karnataka Chief Minister claimed that during a severe drought and acute drinking water crisis, the predominantly Kannada-speaking Panchayats in Jat Taluka in Maharashtra’s Sangli district had passed resolutions to merge with Karnataka, and his government had devised schemes to assist them by providing water.
Earlier this week, Maharashtra’s Eknath Shinde government appointed two ministers to work with the legal team on the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the dispute. Soon after, Bommai stated that the state has assembled a team of top lawyers, including Mukul Rohatgi and Shyam Diwan, to fight its case.