Set for a legal battle with Maharashtra over the border dispute, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said discussions are on with the state’s legal experts regarding the strategy to be adopted, when the matter comes up for hearing before the Supreme Court.
He also remained cautious while responding to demands by people of some villages in Maharashtra, bordering Karnataka, reportedly wanting their merger with the state.
“On November 30 there is a case in the Supreme Court, yesterday I held a meeting with the Karnataka Border and River Formation Commission chairperson and former judge of the Supreme Court Justice Shivaraj Patil and other experts regarding the strategy and legal perspective," Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said on November 29, he will hold discussions with senior advocate in the state’s legal panel Mukul Rohatgi in New Delhi, regarding the strategy and the matters that might specifically come up during the hearing on Wednesday.
The border dispute dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.
Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 80 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.
Responding to a question on people of some villages in Maharashtra bordering Karnataka, reportedly demanding merger of their areas with the state and as to what was his message for them, Bommai, not wanting to comment much, said the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, which will decide.
“All these matters are before the Supreme Court…I have myself said what I have to already, but as the matter is before the Supreme Court, it has now been decided not to discuss them, as it may have some implications. It will be decided by the Supreme Court," he said.
Slamming the neighbouring state’s leaders for provocative statements on the border dispute, the Chief Minister had recently said Solapur and Akkalkot regions in Maharashtra belonged to Karnataka.
Rejecting criticism over a recent meeting between Karnataka and Maharashtra Governors to discuss various issues pertaining to both states and attempts to link it to the border issue being raked up again, Bommai on Monday said, “Governors had met for a different purpose, this is a case pending in the Supreme Court, that has come up for hearing that’s all."
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