Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said his government is committed towards incorporating into the state the areas of Karnataka where Marathi-speaking people are in majority.
This will be the “true tribute” to martyrs of the cause, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a tweet.
Maharashtra claims Belgaum and some other areas, part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency but currently in Karnataka, on linguistic grounds.
Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, a regional organisation fighting for the merger of Belgaum and some other border areas with Maharashtra, observes January 17 as the ‘martyrs’ day’ for those who laid down their lives for the cause in 1956.
“Bringing Karnataka-occupied Marathi-speaking and cultural areas in Maharashtra will be the true tribute to those who accepted martyrdom in the boundary battle. We are united and committed towards it. Respects to the martyrs with this promise,” the CMO tweeted.
Maharashtra claims certain areas, including Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani which are part of Karnataka, contending that the majority of population in these areas is Marathi-speaking.
The dispute between the two states over Belgaum and other border areas is pending before the Supreme Court for many years.
Thackeray last year appointed Maharashtra ministers Eknath Shinde and Chhagan Bhujbal as co-coordinators to oversee the state government’s efforts to expedite the case related to the boundary dispute.