Devendra Fadnavis . Photo:ANI
Nagpur: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday asserted the state government will fight even for an inch of land, amid the simmering boundary dispute with Karnataka.
Speaking in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Fadnavis said the state government will do whatever it can to ensure the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka get justice.
The issue of Maharashtra-Karnataka border row echoed in the ongoing winter session of the state Assembly here on Monday, with the opposition demanding a resolution on the issue.
Notably, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution on border row with Maharashtra, resolving to protect the southern state's interests and not to cede an inch of land to its neighbour.
The resolution, which also condemned the border dispute "created" by Maharashtra and moved by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, was adopted by a voice vote.
On Monday, raising the issue in the Maharashtra Assembly, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar asked why did the government not move the resolution on the border row when it was decided in the Business Advisory Committee that a proposal on it would be moved in the first week of the winter session.
The proposal to move the resolution also did not figure in Monday's business list, he pointed out.
Pawar said the statements by Karnataka chief minister have "hurt the pride of Maharashtra".
Responding to it, Deputy CM Fadnavis said the resolution could not be introduced last week as the situation was not conducive, an apparent reference to the suspension of senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil who was suspended on Thursday for the rest of the session for his remark against Speaker Rahul Narvekar.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was in Delhi to attend an official function due to which the resolution could not be tabled in the House, Fadnavis said.
He assured the House that a resolution on the border row would be tabled on Monday or Tuesday.
“We will fight even for an inch. We will do whatever we can for the justice of the Marathi-speaking population in Karnataka,” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
The state government will not back down even an inch on the issue, he added.
Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan (Congress) said the Karnataka CM has been resorting to use of provocative language and the Maharashtra government should take up the issue with the Union Home Ministry, under which comes the Linguistic Minorities Commission.
The Maharashtra government should not act as a mere spectator in the case when the Karnataka government is trying to muddy the waters, Chavan said.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray faction) member Bhaskar Jadhav accused the Maharashtra chief minister and deputy chief minister of becoming helpless in the case when the Marathi-speaking population is "ill-treated".
Hitting back, Fadnavis said no one has the guts to make the chief minister and deputy chief minister become helpless.