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Sanjay Raut said he did not need anyone’s “permission” to go to KarnatakaMumbai:
In an escalating Karnataka-Maharashtra border row, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut today said, “We will enter Karnataka like China has entered the country”, sparking a huge controversy. Sanjay Raut, a member of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena faction, said he did not need anyone’s “permission” to do so. “There is a weak government in Maharashtra and it’s not taking any stand on it,” Sanjay Raut said.The Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena, which was ousted from power in June, has been attacking the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government, accusing it of not taking a stronger stand versus Karnataka.The border dispute goes back to 1956 when the then Maharashtra government demanded a redrawing of its border with Karnataka. Maharashtra claims 865 villages given to Karnataka, including Belagavi (former Belgaum), Karwar and Nippani, and wants these to be merged into the state. Karnataka rejects the claim.Belagavi, which has a large Marathi-speaking population and was originally a part of the Bombay presidency that made way to Maharashtra, is the epicentre of the row that has also reached the Supreme Court. Karnataka also claims the south Solapur and Akkalkote regions of Maharashtra, which have a sizeable Kannada-speaking population.In 1966, a government panel called the Mahajan Commission rebuffed Maharashtra’s claim over Belgaum and proposed a solution, involving an exchange of some areas, that was rejected by the state but welcomed by Karnataka.After multiple attempts at a solution, Maharashtra approached the Supreme Court in 2004. Karnataka countered the move by changing the name of Belgaum to Belagavi and building a second legislature in the district to firm up its claim on the region.The five-decade border row snowballed recently with political leaders on both sides ranged against each other at border areas claimed by both states. Eknath Shinde, keen to demonstrate his commitment to the state’s causes, recently appointed two senior ministers to scale up the legal and political fight. Soon, both states announced moves to woo the population in the disputed areas and leaders began ramping up provocative rhetoric.As tension grew, buses from both states were attacked and defaced with paint in Karnataka’s Belagavi and Maharashtra’s Pune by stone-throwing political cadres, prompting Union Home Minister Amit Shah to call a meeting with the Chief Ministers of both states.Tension peaked on Monday when members of the Maharastra Ekikaran Samiti and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party protested at Belagavi, demanding they be allowed into the city. A Maharashtra MP was stopped from entering Belagavi.The police in Belagavi blocked the protesters and banned large gatherings in the town where the Karnataka assembly’s winter session is being held.Post a comment

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