Uddhav seeks UT status for Maha-K'taka border areas

Declare Marathi-speaking areas along Maharashtra-Karnataka border as Union Territory: CM Uddhav Thackeray

Thackeray was speaking at the release of ‘Maharashtra-Karnataka Seemavad: Sangharsh Ani Sankalp’

 Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: PTI photo.

Calling for a “time-bound programme” to address the vexed Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary issue, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday reiterated the demand of Union Territory status for the Marathi-speaking areas along the border till the Supreme Court gives its verdict.

“What had happened had happened...now we have to fight to win...we will have to work in a time-bound programme,” Thackeray, the Shiv Sena president, said in presence of Maharashtra's top political leaders including NCP founder-president Sharad Pawar.

Thackeray was speaking at the release of ‘Maharashtra-Karnataka Seemavad: Sangharsh Ani Sankalp’ (Maharashtra-Karnataka Boundary Dispute: Struggle and Pledge), a book penned by Dr Deepak Pawar, that runs into 530 pages.

Members of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, that is spearheading the movement and locals from the bordering areas were present at the event held at the Sahyadri guest house at Malabar Hill here.

“The matter is pending before in the Supreme Court...but the way Karnataka (government) is behaving amounts to contempt of court...they have changed the name of Belgaum (as Belagavi), they have made it the second capital, constructed a Vidhana Soudha there and held a legislature session,” Thackeray said.

Pawar, a four-time Maharashtra chief minister, said that the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. “The apex court is the last resort to resolve an issue...we have to put forward our point effectively...the chief minister (Thackeray) is personally working on it,” he said.

Among those present include Leader of Opposition in Council Pravin Darekar, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Marathi language Department Minister Subhash Desai, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal,  Minister of State for General Administration Department Dattatray Bharne, Mumbai South MP Arvind Sawant.