BELAGAVI: A Maharashtra Member of Parliament (Shiv Sena) Rahul Shivale raised the boundary dispute in Parliament on Monday, demanding that the Centre announce Belagavi, Karwar, Nipani, Bidar, Bhalki, Khanapur and other border areas adjoining Maharashtra border as Union Territory until the Supreme Court gives its final verdict in the boundary case.
Leaders in Belagavi region questioned the silence of Karnataka MPs on the issue in Parliament and said they should have objected to Shivale’s statement as it amounts to sub-judice. They also regretted that CM B S Yediyurappa and other state leaders have not taken serious cognisance of the issue.
Shivale said that majority of people in areas along the border in Karnataka speak Marathi and these areas should be merged with Maharashtra. “The Belagavi corporation passed a resolution in 1948 demanding the merger of the city with Maharashtra. The boundary dispute case in the Supreme Court was slated for hearing on March 23, 2018 but it did not take place. Later, the next hearing scheduled for March 17, 2020 too did not happen because of Covid-19,’’ he added.
Chikkodi MP Annasaheb Jolle refused to comment on Shivale’s statement. In fact, the Meherchand Mahajan Commission in 1966 recommended that Nipani, a part of the Chikkodi LS constituency which Jolle (BJP MP) represents, be merged with Maharashtra. Kannada leaders Ashok Chandargi, Shivangouda Patil and Shridhar questioned the silence of 28 Karnataka MPs. “Issuing statements on boundary case amounts to contempt of court.
Why did Karnataka MPs not stop Maharashtra member from raising the issue?’’ asked Chandargi. Shivangouda said that Karnataka MPs should counter Maharashtra leaders with facts. Legal expert Ravindra Totiger suggested the State Government bolster its legal teams in Delhi and Bengaluru to counter Maharashtra in the SC. He has handed over official documents of the British era to the State Government which shows Belagavi belonged to Kannadigas. He has a collection of court documents of British era which are written in Kannada.