Maharashtra in two minds over UT status for Belgaum

Maharashtra in two minds over UT status for Belgaum

The Maharashtra government seems to be in two minds over getting Belgaum city declared a union territory (UT).

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and appealed to him to bring the disputed areas under the Central rule. This despite the Supreme Court earlier dismissing an application of the Maharashtra government to bring the disputed boundary areas of Karnataka under Central rule.

Rejection of plea

However, C M Inamdar, the deputy secretary of general administration of the Maharashtra government, in a communication to Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) leader and former MLA B I Patil a few months ago, clarified that in view of the apex court rejecting the plea, there was no point in resorting to jail bharo for the purpose.

The letter was in response to Patil’s missive to the Maharashtra government that they would hold a jail bharo agitation in that State, seeking UT status for Belgaum.

A copy of Inamdar’s letter available with Deccan Herald said if the State government took a stand to get the disputed areas declared as union territory, it could affect the prospects of the petition filed to get Belgaum merged with Maharashtra.

The letter said that the application filed before the apex court seeking direction to the Union government to bring the disputed areas of Karnataka under Central rule was rejected in April 2006, after hearing both the parties.

It said there was no proposal before the Maharashtra government in this regard and efforts were being made to expedite hearing of the main petition on the border row. Patil has acknowledged the receipt of the letter from Inamdar.

Patil said he would appeal to the Maharashtra government again, to protect the interests of Marathi-speaking people in Belgaum, till the court verdict was out.

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