40 Maharashtra villages seek to merge with Karnataka

He welcomed the recent statement of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai who backed the demand of Kannadigas for merger of their region, including Solapur and Akkalkot, with Karnataka.

Published: 29th November 2022 05:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2022 05:51 AM   |  A+A-

eknath_shinde-pti

Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: Amid the ongoing tussle between leaders of Karnataka and Maharashtra over the simmering boundary dispute between the two neighbouring states, residents of 40 villages in Jath taluk in Sangli district on Maharashtra border, mostly inhabited by Kannadigas, have expressed their desire to see their areas merged with Karnataka. Slamming the Maharashtra government for neglecting their villages for decades and depriving them of basic amenities like roads and irrigation facilities, the villagers said they would prefer to be part of Karnataka if the Maharashtra government continues to neglect them.

President of Umadi Niravari Horata Samiti in Jath taluk, Sunil Potdar said, “We have been demanding basic amenities in our villages in Jath taluk for the past decade, but in vain. Our demands have fallen on deaf ears. It’s time that our villages are merged with Karnataka.’’ He welcomed the recent statement of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai who backed the demand of Kannadigas for merger of their region, including Solapur and Akkalkot, with Karnataka.

A prominent local leader Shambu Mamadapur, also president of the Danamma Temple Trust of Guddapur in Jath taluk, said the villagers of Guddapur have been demanding the development of roads for several decades but the Maharashtra government has not done anything about it.

People in most of these 40 villages are upset that the government has neglected Kannada schools and said that it was the Karnataka government which sanctioned Rs 15 crore for the development of schools in the border areas, besides giving grants for the construction of Kannada Bhavan in recent years. The villagers said the roads leading to Danamma Temple, one of the famous religious places in the region, are pathetic even as more than 10,000 devotees visit the shrine everyday. 

Kannadigas in majority in 40 villages

At least one lakh devotees throng the temple on Kartik Amavasya and 95 per cent of them are Kannadigas, they said, adding that not even a single paisa has been released by the Maharashtra government for the benefit of devotees. However, the Karnataka government released Rs 12 crore to the temple trust in the last eight years, the villagers said.

All the 40 villages, which are predominantly occupied by Kannadigas in Jath taluk, are located close to Athani taluk in the border areas. According to sources, Kannadigas form more than 90% of the population in these 40 villages. The people of all the 40 villages organised a Gram Sabha at Guddapur in 2012 and urged the Maharashtra government to develop their area or allow them to merge with Karnataka. The villagers had also staged a protest in this connection in front of the DC’s office in Sangli.

Noted litterateur Chandrashekhar Patil had attended the meeting at Guddapur and had told the villagers that he would meet Bommai and bring the facts to his notice. Meanwhile, a team of Karnataka Rakshna Vedike from Kagwad visited Balgaon in Jath taluk on Monday and invited Kannadigas to come to Karnataka.



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