Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the government has decided to give special grants to Kannada medium schools in Maharashtra and also pensions to Kannadigas in the neighbouring State who fought for the unification of the State.
His statement comes a day after the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra appointed two ministers to coordinate with the legal team regarding the court case on the decades-old border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Shinde also announced that the pension scheme for freedom fighters will cover those parts in Belagavi in Karnataka to which the western state Maharashtra stakes claim to.
He added his government was positive about extending benefits of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) to people living in those areas.
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The MJPJAY is a flagship health insurance scheme of Government of Maharashtra. It provides cashless quality medical care to beneficiaries under the scheme for catastrophic illnesses requiring hospitalisation for surgeries and therapies under identified specialty services through network of health care providers.
Bommai said: “Today our government has decided to give special grants for the development of Kannada medium schools in Maharashtra through Border Development Authority.”
“Also, our government has decided to give pension to those Kannadigas in Maharashtra who fought for the unification (of Karnataka), took part in the freedom struggle of India as well as Goa ‘Vimochan’ agitation after verifying all their documents. We will implement this,” he said.
The Karnataka Chief Minister also said that protecting the interests of a large number of Kannadigas residing in Maharashtra is the duty of the State government.
Bommai also cautioned his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde against creating a row between the two states, which are in harmony.
“I want to tell the Maharashtra Chief Minister and the government not to create a row between states when there are harmonious relations, when we are treating everyone equally irrespective of their language,” the Karnataka Chief Minister said.
He claimed that the Panchayats in Jath Taluka in Maharashtra had passed a resolution in the past to merge with Karnataka when there was a severe drought situation and acute drinking water crisis, and his government has evolved schemes to help them by providing water. The state government is seriously considering it.
Bommai on Monday said he has formed a formidable legal team of senior lawyers from Supreme Court and Karnataka to deal with the border row case when it comes up before the apex court.
“The border dispute is a political tool used by all parties in Maharashtra. But they will never succeed,” he said, adding that Maharashtra’s plea has not found maintainability in all these years and Karnataka is prepared to argue that it’s not maintainable.
Bommai had also said that there is no example to show that what had been done under the States Reorganisation Act was reviewed.
Belagavi bordering Maharashtra has a significant population of Marathi-speaking people, and had for decades been a bone of contention between the two States.