B. S. Yediyurappa Chief Minister of Karnataka condemned the comments made by Ajit Pawar Deputy CM of Maharashtra over the border dispute between the two states. Deputy CM mentioned the dispute as an attempt to incite fire.

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What is the border dispute between two states?

Maharashtra and Karnataka border dispute also known as the “Belgaum border dispute” or the Belagavi dispute. Under British India Belgaum was a part of Bombay Presidency and now Belgaum is a part of Karnataka state. Under British India, Bombay Presidency encompassed Maharashtra, Gujarat and certain areas of North Karnataka.

When both states were divided based on linguistic and administrative lines under the State Reorganization Act 1956, Belgaum district was included under Mysore state (now Karnataka). This was done in spite of the fact that Belgaum had majority of Marathi-speaking population. Hence, the dispute. However, according to 1881 census (British Indian Census), Belgaum had 64.39 per cent of Kannada speaking individuals and 26.04 per cent of Marathi speaking individuals.

Mahajan commission Report

In 1966, The Government of India set up Mahajan Committee with representatives from both states. Mahajan committee recommended in 1967 that 264 villages shall be transferred to Maharashtra. This included some Karnataka village in Haliyal, Karwar and Suparna Taluks as well. On the flip side, Belgaum and 247 villages were to remain with Karnataka.

Mahajan commission report was refuted by both states. Kerala on the flip side, refused to hand over Kerala’s Kasaragod Municipality to Karnataka.

Maharashtra’s stand

Maharashtra state is claiming all the 814 villages and the Belgaum city. The State invokes Article 131 (b) in the Supreme Court (SC) to justify its claim. The case is still pending in front of the supreme court. According to Article 131 of the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in any dispute between the state governments or between the Government of India and the state governments. Mahajan Commission report on Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute Mahajan Commission report on Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute