In a bid to quell the discontent over its affidavit in the Supreme Court on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue, the Centre is likely to make it clear in Monday's hearing that this is not its final stand, according to reliable sources in the Maharashtra government.
Last week, the Centre, in its affidavit, opposed Maharashtra's application challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, and the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960. The suit was filed by Maharashtra in 2004 seeking transfer of certain Marathi-speaking areas of Belgaum and other parts of Karnataka to it. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Sunday expressed confidence in the Central government. He said he had sought an all-party meeting with the Prime Minister on July 14 and he would know by Monday whether that was possible. He said there was no change in the State's stand and it was firm that 865 villages and other parts of the border areas should come to Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of the monsoon session of the Legislature, Mr. Chavan denied the Opposition charge that the Centre or Congress president Sonia Gandhi were insensitive to Maharashtra's sentiments. The Centre had no antipathy towards the State. He clarified that the Centre's affidavit was in response to an interim application filed by Maharashtra and was not against the main petition. The issue should not be politicised and all parties in the State were one on the border issue.
The Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party attacked Mr. Chavan for failing to secure any success in three important cases in the Supreme Court.
The Opposition boycotted the Chief Minister's customary tea party on the eve of the session.