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Mrashtra’s Belgaum bid futile: Centre

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Source: Deccan Herald
The Centre has told the Supreme Court that Maharashtra has been fighting a futile legal battle demanding the annexation of 814 villages in Belgaum, Karwar, Bidar and Gulbarga districts of Karnataka, which have significant Marathi-speaking people.
“It is neither feasible nor desirable to demarcate the borders of villages, taluks and districts in a manner that the people speaking one language can or may be retained in one state only. Such a solution has severe practical problems and severe consequences, which have been succinctly laid out by States’ Reorganisation Commission (SRC) in its report,” said an affidavit by the Director of the Union Home Ministry, which is in the possession of Deccan Herald. However, copies of the affidavit are yet to be provided to the parties.The document, prepared by then Solicitor-General Golam E Vahanvati and filed on November 16, 2006, said, “It is submitted that in the process of reorganisation, a certain minimum amount of linguistic overlap is to be expected along the border.”Linguistic homogeneity as a concept is beset with practical problems, espe-cially in the case of a multi-lingual country like India, as discussed in SRC report.
In another affidavit prepared on August 23, 2006 but not filed following public outcry in Maharashtra, the Centre had urged the apex court to “dispose of the suit” filed by the Maharashtra government in 2004.With a piece of advice, the UPA government said boundary disputes in any multi-lingual country are best resolved with the mutual consent or agreement of the states concerned arrived at through amicable negotiations, which the Centre is committed to facilitate.The Centre said: “The various insinuations and allegations by Maharashtra are not admitted.”It justified the findings in the report submitted on September 3, 1967 by Mehr Chand Mahajan, the chairman of the commission constituted to resolve the border dispute between the two states, and said the matter was settled 41 years back. The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for March 26. The previous hearing in January third week was adjourned after Maharashtra which was to file its reply on the day did not do so.

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