Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday expressed confidence about a “good outcome” in the Karnataka-Maharashtra border case and asserted that as per the State’s Reorganisation Act, 1956, the State’s stand is justified.
Mr Bommai is in the national capital and held discussions with senior advocate in the state’s legal panel Mukul Rohatgi in the wake of the case being listed to come up before the Apex Court for hearing on Wednesday.
Maintainability of case
Speaking to reporters after meeting Mr. Rohatgi in Delhi, Mr.Bommai said, the important thing is the maintainability of Maharashtra’s case. “In 2017, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Deepak Mishra had framed preliminary issues regarding the maintainability of the case, which was challenged by Maharashtra. What should be our objections or arguments to it has been decided, and we are confident that as per the State’s Reorganisation Act, 1956, Karnataka’s stand is justified,” he added.
The border row between two States dates back to the reorganisation of States on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 80 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.
Responding to a question on damages caused to Karnataka’s vehicles in Maharashtra during the last couple of days, the CM said, such things have happened earlier too. “I had asked our Home Secretary and Chief Secretary to speak to their counterparts in Maharashtra to control such things and now it is controlled to an extent,” he said.
On a question to people of more than 42 villages of Jat taluk in Maharashtra, wanting to meet him, with a demand to merge their areas with Karnataka, Mr. Bommai said any decision on this would be taken only after consulting all political parties in the State and legal experts.
“The issue is before the Supreme Court, so it has to be decided on after consulting all political parties and legal experts,” he said.
Responding to a statement by Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, in which he questioned why the villages cannot be included in Karnataka, as desired by the people there, Mr. Bommai said it was a “political statement.”
“When Siddaramaiah was Chief Minister, a similar resolution was made. Why did he not act then? Things have to be considered legally. Everything has to be done within the legal framework,” Mr. Bommai said.
The Chief Minster met several Union Ministers later in the day including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Environment Minister Bhupesh Yadav.