Mumbai, July 12 (IANS) Both houses of the Maharashtra legislature Thursday passed a unanimous resolution demanding that the central government declare the Marathi-dominated areas of Belgaum and other boundary areas of Karnataka as a union territory till the Supreme Court delivers its final verdict on the boundary row between the two states.
This is the second time in less than eight months that the state legislature has passed such a resolution. In December 2011, the lawmakers had even demanded the dismissal of the then Sadananda Gowda government in Karnataka for alleged atrocities on Marathi-speaking people in the border areas.
Moving the resolution in the assembly, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan condemned "the unconstitutional and unjustifiable" move by the Karnataka government to dismiss the elected Belgaum Municipal Corporation last week despite a court injunction.
The resolution was supported by Bharatiya Janata Party's Sudhir Mungantiwar, the Nationalist Congress Party's Madhukar Pichad, Shiv Sena's Subhash Desai, Peasants and Workers Party's Ganpatrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's Bala Nandgaonkar and Samajwadi Party's Abu Asim Azmi.
Promising to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue, Chavan urged the central government to direct Karnataka to reinstate the dissolved civic body.
He also said the state government would explore legal avenues on moving the Linguistic Minorities Commission and courts on the violation of the rights of the Marathi-speaking people in Belgaum and other border areas.
Chavan noted that the neighbouring state had discarded the court order staying the earlier dissolution of the Belgaum civic body last December and asking the Karnataka government to listen to the views of the elected corporators.
The last hearing of the ongoing matter in the apex court was on Tuesday when the Karnataka government was given two months time to file its response.
The nearly six-decade-old boundary row involves Belgaum city and 865 villages in the border areas where Marathi speaking people are in a majority.
Controlled by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES), the Belgaum civic body was dismissed last week by the Karnataka government for the second time in eight months for allegedly violating the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Act, 1976.