Will Not Cede “Even An Inch” Of Land: Eknath Shinde On State Border Row

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Ajit Pawar also sought the Centre’s intervention on the matter.

Mumbai:

Amid the ongoing controversy over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday claimed his government would not leave even an inch of Maharashtra’s land to anyone.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Eknath Shinde said, “We are trying to bring justice to the Marathi people in the border areas. Not even an inch of space in Maharashtra will be allowed to go anywhere.

“It is the responsibility of our government to solve the problems of 40 villages,” he added.

Earlier, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray slammed Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai’s remarks on the border dispute between the two states and called the latter “possessed”.

“The Chief Minister of Karnataka makes his statement on border issues. It seems that Karnataka CM Bommai was possessed for suddenly claiming 40 villages in Maharashtra? said Uddhav Thackeray.

Earlier, Maharashtra opposition leader Ajit Pawar condemned Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s remarks on the border dispute between the two states and called on Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis to “give a firm answer”.

Ajit Pawar also sought the Centre’s intervention on the matter.

It comes after Mr Bommai got into a war of words with Fadnavis over the issue of the border between the two states and called the Maharashtra deputy chief minister’s remarks “provocative”.

“The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has made a provocative statement on the Karnataka Maharashtra border issue and his dream will never come true. Our government is committed to protecting the country’s lands, waters and borders,” Bommai tweeted late Wednesday.

Mr. Fadnavis had said that no village from Maharashtra would go to Karnataka.

“No village from Maharashtra will go to Karnataka! State government will fight hard in Supreme Court to get Marathi speaking villages including Belgaum-Karwar-Nipani,” he tweeted.

Reacting to the question, Mr Pawar said: “After claiming Jat taluka villages in Sangli district, the Chief Minister of Karnataka also claimed Akkalkot and Solapur. I strongly condemn the statement of the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Our Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are expected to give a firm answer. The center must intervene immediately. The case is pending before the court. It’s to distract people and divert attention from inflation, from unemployment.

Mr Pawar also made the ironic remark that all that remains is to claim Mumbai.

Karnataka CM Bommai previously said the border line has become a political tool in Maharashtra and any ruling party will raise the issue for political gain. “My government is capable of protecting Karnataka’s borders and has also taken action,” Bommai said.

The whole war of words erupted after Mr Bommai claimed that some villages in Maharashtra’s Sangli district, which are experiencing a water crisis, passed a resolution calling for a merger with Karnataka.

However, Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister denied the allegations and said that no such village had recently applied for a merger with Karnataka.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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