Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai, appointed for coordinating the state’s border dispute with Karnataka, are unlikely to visit Belagavi on Tuesday as both have various meetings scheduled in Maharashtra during the day.
The two ministers were earlier scheduled to meet activists of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti at Belagavi in Karnataka on Tuesday and hold talks with them on the decades-old border issue.
On Monday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he will ask his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde not to send his cabinet colleagues to Belagavi, as their visit may disrupt the law and order situation in the border district.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said CM Shinde will take a final call on whether the ministers appointed for coordinating the state’s border dispute with Karnataka should visit the contested areas.
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When contacted, a close associate of Chandrakant Patil said, “The minister was in Pune on Monday and he has a number of meetings scheduled in Mumbai on Tuesday. The minister has in his official schedule stated he would attend all the meetings. I am not aware of any of his plans to visit Belagavi.” An official working with Desai also said the minister has some meetings and he will attend them.
”He has not informed us whether he will visit Belagavi today or not. We have no idea if he has made any other plans,” the official said.
Last week, Patil said there was a demand from the Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, an organisation fighting for the merger of Belgaum and some other border areas with Maharashtra, to hold discussions with the volunteers on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue.
Maharashtra, since its inception in 1960, has been entangled in a dispute with Karnataka over the status of Belagavi district and 80 other Marathi speaking villages, which are in the control of the southern state. The dispute is pending before the Supreme Court.