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‘We may STOP water supply to Karnataka if…’: Maharashtra minister warns CM Basavaraj Bommai amid Belgavi row | India News

Nagpur: Maharashtra Minister Shambhuraj Desai on Wednesday warned that the state may stop the water supply to Karnataka if its top leaders do not refrain themselves from making irresponsible statements amid the simmering border dispute between the two states. “If Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and other leaders do not stop making irresponsible statements, Maharashtra will have to rethink about water supply from its dams to the neighbouring state,” Shambhuraj Desai said.

Talking to reporters in the Vidhan Bhavan complex, Desai even slammed Bommai over the Karnataka government’s stand that “not an inch of land will be given to Maharashtra.”

It may be recalled that the Maharashtra government last month appointed cabinet members Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai as nodal ministers to coordinate with the legal team regarding a court case on the state’s border dispute with Karnataka.

Amid escalating tension between the two states over Belgavi, the Karnataka legislature has reiterated the state’s stand that the border issue is a settled one, and not an inch of land will be given to the neighbouring state.

During a debate on the border dispute in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, CM Bommai himself suggested passing a unanimous resolution in both Houses of the state legislature reiterating and asserting the stand.

Reacting to it, Desai said that he condemns such comments, which do not suit Bommai as he holds a constitutional post. “When the case is sub-judice, a chief minister using such a “threatening language” is not good and he should stop it,” he said. “Even Maharashtra can reply in the same language and he should not provoke us,” Desai warned.

Maharashtra is maintaining patience and the Karnataka CM should keep in mind that the southern state is very much dependent on water supply from the Koyna and Krishna dams (in Maharashtra) during the dry season of March and April, he said. Maharashtra stands firm with the Marathi-speaking people residing in the border areas, he added.

On Tuesday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil said Maharashtra should raise the height of the upstream dams to “rein in” Karnataka. The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, as it has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population.

It also laid claim to more than 800 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka. Karnataka maintains the demarcation done on linguistic lines as per the States Reorganisation Act and the 1967 Mahajan Commission Report as final.

(With Agency Inputs)

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