Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stoked a massive controversy on Sunday after he claimed that his government is committed to incorporating into the state the areas of Karnataka where Marathi-speaking people are in majority.
This will be the “true tribute” to martyrs of the cause, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a tweet.
“Bringing Karnataka-occupied Marathi-speaking and cultural areas in Maharashtra will be the true tribute to those who accepted martyrdom in the boundary battle. We are united and committed to it. Respects to the martyrs with this promise,” the Chief Minister claimed.
Will incorporate ‘Karnataka-occupied areas’ where Marathi-speaking people are in majority into Maharashtra. It will be the true tribute to those who attained martyrdom in the boundary battle: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) January 17, 2021
Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, a regional organization, has been demanding the merger of Belgaum and some other border areas with Maharashtra. It also observes January 17 as the ‘martyrs’ day’ for those who laid down their lives for the cause in 1956.Uddhav
Maharashtra claims regions belonging to Karnataka on the basis of language
Maharashtra claims areas belonging to Karnataka such as Belgaum and some other areas, that were part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency but currently falls in Karnataka after the re-organisation of states in 1956.
The Maharashtra government has often tried to disrupt the peace between the two states by claiming Karnataka regions including Belgaum, Karwar, and Nippani as part of the state by making contentious claims saying that the majority of the population in these areas is Marathi- speaking. The dispute between the two states over Belgaum and other border areas is pending before the Supreme Court for many years.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last year had appointed Maharashtra ministers Eknath Shinde and Chhagan Bhujbal as co-coordinators to oversee the state government’s efforts to expedite the case related to the boundary dispute.