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Maharashtra-Karnataka Border Row: SC Hearing Today; Maha Appoints MP Dhairyasheel Mane Chief of Expert Committee

Maharashtra MP Dhairyasheel Mane was appointed chief of the expert committee on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute on Tuesday, a day before the matter is set to be heard in the Supreme Court.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday congratulated Mane, first-time Member of Parliament (MP) from Hatkanangale in Kolhapur district in southern Maharashtra, for the appointment by giving him a floral bouquet at the Sahyadri guest house, as per reports.

The Supreme court is set to hear a petition filed by the Maharashtra government on the ongoing border dispute with Karnataka on Wednesday, November 30.

Other than Mane, members of Maharashtra’s expert committee include advocate Ram Apte, Dinesh Aulkar and Dr R V Patil as special coordinator. Principal secretary of state Law and Justice department is also included as a coordinator while the secretary of the department looking into the matter of border dispute is the member secretary.

The row was rekindled recently after Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai indirectly stated that some areas in Maharashtra wanted to merge with his state due to water scarcity issues. However, it relates to Maharashtra’s claim on Belgavi and other border areas with large swathes of Marathi-speaking populations currently part of the southern state.

Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Bommai on Tuesday was in Delhi to meet with BJP chief JP Nadda and consulting senior lawyers, including Mukul Rohatgi, the former Attorney General of India, who will appear for his state.

Bommai on Sunday had chaired a meeting with senior advocates and officials here in the wake of the case coming up before the Supreme Court for hearing on November 30. He also said that the Maharashtra petition has no legal base.

“The petition filed by the state of Maharashtra in regard to the border issue did not have any legal provision since it was filed on the basis of the State Reorganisation Act and Article 3 (formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states) of the Constitution,” he said.

Earlier, hitting back at Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s claim about a Maharashtra village wanting to merge with his state, Fadnavis said no village has done that, and that there is no question of any border village “going anywhere”.

Bommai had claimed that some village panchayats in Jat taluka of Maharashtra’s Sangli district had passed a resolution in the past, seeking to merge with Karnataka as they were facing severe water crisis.

The Karnataka government, Bommai said, had devised schemes to help them by providing water, and his government was seriously considering the proposal of Jat villages.

Reacting to these remarks, Fadnavis said that presently, none of the villages raised such a demand and that “not a single village” of Maharashtra will go anywhere.

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