INDIA. Mumbai: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday advised the chief ministers of Karnataka and Maharashtra to maintain the status quo on the border row between both states till the conclusion of the petition pending in the Supreme Court (SC).
Shah held a joint meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai at Parliament House in New Delhi for about 25 minutes.
Shah directed that a coordination panel comprising three ministers from both sides be set up to avoid untoward incidents. This panel should regularly hold meetings to avoid any flare up from both sides.
In the meeting, the issue of a provocative message tweeted by Bommai saying that Maharashtra will not receive even an inch of Karnataka land also figured. However, Bommai claimed that his tweeter account was hacked and he had not tweeted any such message.
Bommai, in one of his public meetings, had staked claim over 40 odd villages in Sangli and Solapur districts of Maharashtra. Besides, Karnataka also recently released water from Bableshwar dam into Tikondi lake, located in Jat taluka of Sangli, without any requisition from Maharashtra. In addition, when two Maharashtra Ministers wanted to visit bordering Belgaum, they were denied permission under the pretext of law and order,
After the meeting, Shah told the media, “Both states have agreed to form a committee headed by one senior IPS officer regarding this matter so that constitutional norms are followed, and law and order is maintained in both states so that outsiders and locals don’t face any problem.”
“Some fake Twitter accounts were opened in the names of political leaders (of both states) to spread misinformation about the matter. FIRs will be registered against such Twitter accounts, and people involved will be exposed in public,” Shah added.
“I urge opposition parties Maharashtra & Karnataka not to politicize this issue. We should wait for the outcome of the discussions of the committee formed to resolve this issue and the decision of the Supreme Court. I am confident that NCP, Congress, and Shiv Sena( Uddhav Thackeray group), will cooperate,” Shah said.
Fadnavis told the media that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere, and both sides agreed to maintain the status quo until the SC resolves the issue. He added that Maharashtra had not diluted its position, and the matter would be fully contested in the court.
In response to Bommai’s purported statements, earlier, Fadnavis had stated that Belgaum, Karwar, Nippani, Bidar, and other areas at present in Karnataka would be annexed to Maharashtra at any cost since these are a majority Marathi-speaking areas.
However, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told Mumbai media that if Bommai claims that his official Twitter account was hacked, he should explain the video of his public meeting in which he repeatedly said that Maharashtra would not be given an inch of land from Karnataka.