Maharashtra-Karnataka Dispute heats up: Inter-State Bus Service Suspended, Minister’s Trip Postponed


On Tuesday, two ministers of Maharashtra intermitted their visits to Belagavi in Karnataka due to the border tensions between the two states. Maharashtra also suspended bus services to Karnataka as vehicles of Maharashtra were being invaded.

While talking to the news reporters in Mumbai, Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar described the whole situation as disturbing and said, “Maharashtra has taken a stand of observing patience, and it is still ready to do that. But even that has a limit. In 24 hours, if the attacks on vehicles are not stopped, this patience will take a different path. The responsibility will be completely on the Karnataka chief minister and the Karnataka government.”

As Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai asserted his government was committed to protecting the borders and called for maintaining harmony between people residing on both sides, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called up Bommai. They expressed disappointment over stone pelting on vehicles entering Karnataka from Maharashtra.

The tension heightened at the interstate border on a day when two Maharashtra ministers, Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai, were supposed to visit Belagavi and hold discussions with pro-Marathi groups. In a show of strength, Pro-Kannada organizations staged demonstrations in Belagavi against the proposed visit of the ministerial delegation from the neighboring state. However, the Maharashtra ministers canceled their visit, against which Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had threatened legal action if they did come to Belagavi.

The situation turned tense after a viral video showed activists of pro-Kannada outfits, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV), pelting stones at vehicles entering Karnataka with Maharashtra registration numbers at the toll gate at Hirebagewadi near Belagavi on NH-48.

At least five lorries bearing Maharashtra registration plates were pelted with stones, and their number plates were blackened. KRV activists who targeted five lorries entering the state from Maharashtra were detained and released on Tuesday.

Several political leaders of Maharashtra are asking for the Centre’s intervention now. NCP chief Sharad Pawar even said that if Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai is going to make provocative statements, then the Centre should intervene. He also requested Maharastra MPs to take a delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah since the winter session of the Parliament is beginning tomorrow.


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