Mumbai: Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai will meet the activists of Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti at Belgaum (Belagavi) Karnataka on December 6 and hold talks with them on the decades-old border dispute between Maharashtra and the neighbouring state.
As per the earlier schedule, the two ministers were supposed to visit Belgaum on December 3.
In a tweet in Marathi, Patil said some Ambedkarite organisations have urged them to remain present in Belgaum on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Diwas, the death anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. So instead of December 3, he and Desai will be in Belgaum on December 6.
Earlier this week, Patil had 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.
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”Accordingly, I and coordinating minister Shamburaj Desai will visit Belgaum on December 3 and hold discussions. Let’s meet up. Discussions surely will lead to a way,” Patil had tweeted earlier with a letter from the Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti seeking a meeting with him and Desai.
Patil and Desai were appointed as the coordinating minister for the border row with a mandate to coordinate with the legal team regarding the court case on the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, according to a government resolution.
The ministers will also be responsible for coordination with the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti that roots for the merging of the Marathi-speaking areas in Karnataka with the state.
They will also look into the problems faced by the residents of 865 villages over which the Maharashtra government has staked its claim in this over the decades-old issue, the resolution said.
Patil is a senior state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, while Desai is a member of the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena faction of the Shiv Sena. Both hail from western Maharashtra.
Maharashtra, since its inception in 1960, has been entangled in a dispute with Karnataka over the status of Belgaum (also called Belagavi) district and 80 other Marathi-speaking villages, which are in the control of the southern state.