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Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue politicised: Raj Thackeray

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray today said that the boundary row between Maharashtra and Karnataka is an issue which could probably never be resolved.


Raj Thackeray

"So many years have passed and politicians from the state have never been serious about finding a solution to the 55-year old dispute. The issue has always been used for politics. Strikes and bandhs do not serve any purpose," Raj told reporters here today answering a query about the long pending demand that Marathi-speaking areas in Karnataka be included in Maharashtra.

When asked about the demand of changing name of Belgaum to Belagavi, he said, "It is the issue of Karnataka state".

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief recalled that when Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti members had met him a few years ago, he had said that he was prepared, if required, to meet the then Karnataka chief minister to discuss the issue and demand that there should not be injustice on Marathi speaking people living in Belgaum and nearby areas.

"Marathi people live outside Maharashtra and have gelled well with their state of residence. There are Maharashtrians in Vadodara and Indore and Marathi culture is flourishing," he said.

However, Raj also raised concerns about the dispute saying that there are several never ending development issues in Maharashtra.

"If Marathi people get 24-hour electricity supply in Belgaum, what if they don't get that facility after becoming part of Maharashtra. There is severe power shortage in the state," he said.

Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena have demanded that Belgaum and other Marathi-speaking areas be declared union territories until the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the border dispute.

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