Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepped in to defuse the border tensions between Maharashtra and Karnataka on Wednesday (14 December).
Shah asked chief ministers of the two states to set up a six-member joint ministerial panel to address related issues and not make any claims till the Supreme Court pronounces its verdict on the dispute.
The home minister also told Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and his Karnataka counterpart Basavaraj Bommai that the border issue between the two states cannot be settled on the streets but only through constitutional means.
The meeting comes after border tensions flared up last week leading to violence in Belgavi and adjoining regions of Karnataka which have a sizeable Marathi-speaking population.
Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra were also present at the meeting.
Shah said the two chief ministers had agreed not to make any claims and counterclaims on the border issue till the Supreme Court decides on the matter.
"A team will be formed comprising three ministers from both sides to hold a detailed discussion on this issue and ensure that decisions which are taken are percolated at the ground level," Shah said briefing reporters on the decisions taken at the meeting.
Shah further said a committee under the chairmanship of an IPS officer will be formed to maintain law and order situation and ensure peaceful passage of people, transport and goods from one state to another state.
The Union home minister also appealed to opposition parties in both states against politicising the issue and wait for the Supreme Court judgment in this regard.
Fadnavis said the Maharashtra CM also urged Shah that the Centre should play a role of the facilitator in the resolution of the dispute and not appear to favour any particular state.
He said during the meeting both the chief ministers had not budged from their respective stands and agreed to resolve the matter in the court.
Since its creation on 1 May 1960, Maharashtra has claimed that 865 villages, including Belgaon (now Belgavi), Karwar and Nippani, should be merged into Maharashtra. Karnataka, however, has refused to part with its territory.
Of late, Karnataka too has staked claims to south Solapur and Akkalkote regions of Maharashtra, that have a sizeable Kannada speaking population.
(With inputs from PTI)
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