Belagavi: Disputed Border Area Between Maharashtra And Karnataka:
Maharashtra Chief Minister said the disputed border area between Maharashtra and Karnataka should be made an Union Territory until the matter is heard by the Supreme Court. This sparked off a strong reaction in Karnataka.
- Maharashtra has been claiming that Belagavi, Karwar, and Nipani should be the part of that State as they are Marathi-speaking areas.
- The erstwhile Bombay Presidency, a multilingual province, included the present-day Karnataka districts of Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwar, and Uttara-Kannada (previously North Kanara).
- The Belagavi/Belgaum region at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka comprises both Kannada and Marathi speakers.
- In 1948, the Belgaum municipality requested that the district, having a predominantly Marathi-speaking population, be incorporated into the proposed Maharashtra state.
- However, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, which divided states into linguistic and administrative lines, made Belgaum a part of the then Mysore State (which was renamed Karnataka in 1973).
- The area has been under dispute since then. The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, formed in 1948, has been fighting for a merger of 800-odd villages in Karnataka with Maharashtra.
- In 2014, the Karnataka government renamed Belgaum as Belagavi.