NEW DELHI: The Centre has formed a 6-member team with ministers from both Maharashtra and Karnataka to discuss the ongoing border row between the two states, Union home minister Amit Shah announced on Wednesday.
He said that the chief ministers of both Maharashtra and Karnataka have agreed to resolve the ongoing border dispute in a “constitutional manner”.
Shah’s remarks came after his meeting with Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai over the dispute which is currently being heard in the Supreme Court.
“The meeting between Maharashtra and Karnataka on the border issue was held in a positive atmosphere today. Keeping a positive approach, CMs of both states agreed that a resolution should be reached in a constitutional manner,” Shah said after the talks.
He said the Centre has formed a 6-member team with ministers from both Maharashtra and Karnataka to address the boundary issues.
He added that a committee under an IPS officer will also be formed to maintain law and order in the border area.
Shah said it has come to the Centre’s notice that several fake Twitter accounts have played a role in fueling the dispute and said that FIRs should be lodged against the perpetrators.
He also urged opposition parties in both the states not to politicise this issue.
“We should wait for outcome of the discussions of the committee formed to resolve this issue & decision of Supreme Court. I’m confident that NCP, Congress and Uddhav Thackeray’s faction will cooperate,” the home minister said.
Shah’s initiative came after a delegation of MPs from Maharashtra sought his intervention. This is the first time that the Centre intervened in the matter.
The border row had intensified last week, with vehicles from either side being targeted, leaders from both states weighing in, and pro-Kannada and Marathi activists detained by police amid a tense atmosphere in the border district of Belagavi.
Following this, the Karnataka and Maharashtra chief ministers spoke to each other over phone and agreed that there should be peace and law and order should be maintained on both sides.
The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.
Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, as it has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 814 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.
Karnataka maintains the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final.
And, as an assertion that Belagavi is an integral part of the state, Karnataka has built the ‘Suvarna Vidhana Soudha’, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of legislature in Bengaluru, and a legislature session is held there annually.
The winter session of legislature is scheduled to be held in Belagavi from December 19 to 30.
(With inputs from agencies)

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