Karnataka-Maharashtra Row: Over 300 protestors stopped at the border

Amid the rising tension between the Karnataka-Maharashtra border row, huge protests have been planned out for the last winter session of the BS Bommai government in Karnataka, following which NCP AND Shiv Sena leaders were detained and taken into preventive custody. As NCP’s Hasan Mushrif, and Shiv Sena’s Kolhapur district president Vijay Devane were detained today as they were about to set foot into Karnataka’s Belgavi which is the epicentre for the decade old border dispute where the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly is being held.

This will be the state’s last winter session before it goes to polls next year.

More than 300 members of Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP were stopped at the border and sent back by Karnataka, and some were detained by the Maharashtra police.

Significantly, a huge protest has been planned out by activists of Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MMES) ahead of the winter session in Karnataka assembly. The organization has been at the forefront in raising the border issue for over five decades.

“The border issue is happening because of the central government. PM Modi wants to divide Maharashtra. Despite the meeting between both Chief Ministers and Home Minister Amit Shah, why are leaders not allowed to go there? This shows that the central government is behind this issue,” Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said.

The chief ministers of Karnataka and Maharashtra held a meeting with Home minister Amit Shah last week. Shah while addressing to the media said that both the CMs agreed to not rule out anything against each other until Supreme Court takes a call on the matter.

However, Maharashtra Chief Minister CM Eknath Shinde today said the issue is of “Maharashtra’s pride” and that the state has taken a strong stand on the issue.

“Home Minister himself informed the media about the issue. The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti is protesting today, there should not be any politics on this issue. There are several other issues over which we can do politics,” he said.

The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka goes back to the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956. The then Maharashtra government had demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka.
Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states. The Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer 260 predominantly Kannada-speaking villages, but the proposal was turned down by Karnataka.

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