After taking one and half year the Centre on Tuesday field a reply to the Maharashtra’s 2004 affidavit and its application in 2009 claiming jurisdiction of Belgaum and other cities.
“The transfer of certain areas to then Mysore (now Karnataka) was neither arbitrary nor wrong,’’ as claimed by Maharashtra,” Dr Praveen Kumari Singh, director of Ministry of Home Affairs, said in the Centre’s reply.
In its affidavit, the central government told the apex court that just because most people in the border district speak Marathi was not ground enough for the areas to be appended to Maharashtra.
According to the Union government, Maharashtra’s petition should be dismissed and exemplary cost should be imposed for filing such a suit. The state of erstwhile Mysore was joined with parts of Bombay, Hyderabad, Madras and Coorg to form Karnataka five decades ago under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
In a sharp reaction, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said the decision was ‘unfair’ to the people of Maharashtra. ‘If this is the case, then why not abolish this policy of carving out states on linguistic basis,’ he said. Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) leaders said ‘This is an unfortunate decision by the centre,’.
Others in Karnataka welcomed the Centre’s stand and said that this was according to the Mahajan Commissions report.
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