Prime Minister Narendra Modi mediates on the Russia-Ukraine war but turns a blind eye towards the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut said on Sunday.
“This is not a sign of a good politician,” Raut said in his weekly column in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
A decades-old border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra has flared up in recent weeks on account of controversial remarks by political leaders in both states.
Since its creation on May 1, 1960, Maharashtra has demanded that 865 villages, including Belgaum (now Belagavi), Karwar and Nippani, that are currently in Karnataka, should be merged with it. Karnataka claims that the demarcation that was carried out on linguistic lines in 1956 is final.
The Supreme Court is hearing a plea by the Maharashtra government on the border dispute.
As the tensions flared up, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday that the Karnataka and Maharashtra governments will not make any claim in the border dispute until the Supreme Court gives its verdict in the case. Shah had made the statement after meeting the chief ministers of the two states.
In his article on Sunday, Raut said that the Wednesday meeting was held just for 15 minutes and questioned how a 70-year-old dispute can be settled in such a short interaction.
The Shiv Sena MP also pointed out that the matter has been pending before the Supreme Court since 2004.
“When the Ram Mandir issue became political, it was repeatedly heard and resolved; then why shouldn’t this problem be resolved in one go by hearing continuously on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute?” he asked.
He said that the struggle for which 69 persons have laid down their lives continues even today but the Centre is not interfering on the matter.
“It is good that Union Home Minister Amit Shah took an initiative towards resolving the issue, but the question is whether the central government will take a neutral stand,” the Rajya Sabha member asked.
Raut said that Parliament should find a solution to the border dispute.
He said that Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai should have held talks with organisations and leaders of Marathi-speaking population in Belagavi to resolve the dispute instead of making provocative statements against Maharashtra.
“It is clear that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is too weak to confront Bommai’s aggressive stand of claiming areas of Maharashtra,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday that a proposal on the border dispute will be passed in the state Assembly in the Winter Session set to begin on December 19, reported the Hindustan Times.
Over the last few weeks, tensions flared up after activists from the Karnataka Rakshana Vedika, a Kannada nationalist group, allegedly attacked buses and lorries from Maharashtra near Belagavi by pelting stones. In retaliation to the attack on vehicles registered in Maharashtra, workers from former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s faction of the Shiv Sena also defaced Karnataka’s state transport buses in Pune.