19.3 C
Friday, September 22, 2023

Maharashtra Leaders Not Serious about Border Row

The Karnataka elections have exposed the dual role of political parties

Must read

Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: While the leaders vow to resolve the vexed Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary at any cost, the dual role of political parties was exposed when they fielded candidates against the Maharashtra Ekiran Samiti (MES) in the recent Karnataka Assembly polls.

The MES is a forum spearheading the cause of the Marathi-speaking people in disputed areas bordering Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, all its six candidates lost in the triangular contest since national parties and even NCP, which recently lost its national status, contested the election against the MES.

- Advertisement -

The triangular contest: Belgavi South- Ramakant Konduskar (MES), Vijay Patil (BJP) and Prabhavati Mastmardi ( Congress), Belgavi North- Amar Yellurkar (MES), B Asif (Congress) and Dr Ravi Patil (BJP), Belgavi (rural)-RM Chaugule (MES), Laxmi Hebbalkar (Congress) and Nagesh Mannolkar (BJP), Nippani- Jairam Mirajkar (MES), Shashikala Jolle (BJP), Uttam Patil (NCP) and Kakasaheb Patil (Congress), Yamaknardi- Maruti Naik (MES), Satish Jarkohol (Congress) and Basavraj Hundari (BJP) and Khanapur- Murlidhar Patil (MES), Vithal Halgekar( BJP) and MLA Anjali Nimbalkar (Congress) 

The leaders from Maharashtra campaigned to support their respective candidates, which proved counter-productive to the MES. The only exception was the campaigning by leaders of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) in support of the MES candidates.

- Advertisement -

Prithviraj Chavan, Satej Patil, Ashok Chavan (Congress), Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Girish Mahajan (BJP) campaigned. When they reached for campaigning, the MES workers greeted them with black flags.

There could have been some seat adjustments to ensure that the MES candidates won one or two seats. It had two MLAs in 2004 and 2013. In 2018 all its candidates lost, and even in the current election, it could not get a single seat. Of the 18 seats in the Belgavi district, 11 were won by the Congress, while the BJP secured 07 seats this time.


- Advertisement -

Maharashtra has long claimed Belagavi, Karwar and Nipani, and other villages having Marathi-speaking populations. After 1947, the Belgavi district of the former Bombay Presidency became a part of Bombay state. The areas were realigned on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, and Belagavi became part of the erstwhile Mysore state.

In October 1966, the Meher Chand Mahajan Commission set up the Union Government to award 262 villages to Maharashtra (as against its demand for 865 villages from five districts of Karnataka). The then Mysore state was awarded 247 villages against its demand for 516 villages. Maharashtra rejected the report and, in 2004, moved to the Supreme Court. 

Maharashtra claims that the villages where Marathi is the dominant language should remain with it. A resolution is passed in every Maharashtra Legislative Assembly session. In last year’s session, the Assembly and Council unanimously passed a resolution expressing solidarity with those living in the contentious boundary region. 

The resolution, tabled by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, condemned the Karnataka administration for “oppressing and terrorizing the Marathi population” and also for its “anti-Marathi stand in border areas.” In its resolution, the Maharashtra government asserted that it would stand behind the Marathi people in border areas.

However, Karnataka has been citing Article 3 of the Constitution to argue that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to decide the borders of states, and only Parliament has the power to do so.

Minority status

Karnataka has been accused of not giving the required benefits to Marathi medium schools. As per Article 350-A of the Constitution, the states must provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minorities. But, attempts are being made to close down Marathi medium schools. 

As against this, Maharashtra Government gives incentives to all linguistic minority schools, and there are over 1000 Kannada medium schools in the state. They are given the required incentives from time to time.

Supreme court

At present, the matter is pending in the SC. It was adjourned on April 12. In the meantime, four judges have recused themselves from hearing the case.

Also Read: Maharashtra ATS Probes Role of an IAF Officer in an Espionage Case


  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

Trending Today