New Delhi: Set for a legal battle with Maharashtra over the border dispute, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday expressed confidence about a ”good outcome”, as he asserted that as per the Constitution and the States Reorganisation Act, the state’s stand is justified.
The Chief Minister is in New Delhi and held discussions with senior advocate in the state’s legal panel Mukul Rohatgi, in the wake of the case coming up before the Supreme Court for hearing on November 30.
”I have met Rohatgi on the border dispute, the advocate general has briefed things, I too shared inputs regarding the background on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue and we discussed the legal status. He told me that all the preparations have been made for tomorrow,” Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Rohatgi in the national capital, he said, the important thing is the maintainability of Maharashtra’s case.
”In 2017, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Deepak Mishra had framed preliminary issues regarding the maintainability of the case, which was challenged by Maharashtra. What should be our objections or arguments to it has been decided, and we are confident that as per the Constitution and the States Reorganisation Act Karnataka’s stand is justified. We are confident of a good outcome,” he added.
The border dispute dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.
Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 80 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.
Responding to a question on damages caused to Karnataka’s vehicles in Maharashtra during the last couple of days, the CM said, such things have happened earlier too, ”due to internal politics” in that state, as part of an attempt by political parties there, to ”showcase their seriousness” on the border issue.
”I had asked our Home Secretary and Chief Secretary to speak to their counterparts in Maharashtra to control such things and now it has been controlled to an extent,” he said.
To another query on people of more than 40 villages in Maharashtra, bordering Karnataka, wanting to meet him, with a demand to merge their areas with the state, Bommai said any further decision on this will be taken only after consulting all political parties in the state and legal experts.
”This stand by them (people in border villages) is not new, I too have spoken about it…. but the issue is before the Supreme Court, so it has to be decided after consulting all political parties and legal experts,” he said.
Responding to a reported statement by leader of opposition Siddaramaiah, questioning as to why not include those villages of Maharashtra, as desired by the people there, Bommai called it a political statement.
”When he (Siddaramaiah) was the Chief Minister a similar resolution was made, why did he not join them then? The question is not that, for joining parts of the other state, things have to be considered legally. I’m a responsible Chief Minister and everything has to be done within the Constitutional and legal framework,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)