New Delhi: A prominent leader, espousing the cause of the resolution of Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary issue, on Thursday said the Centre should take the initiative in solving the long-standing problem expeditiously.
"People of this disputed area are being given step-motherly treatment by Karnataka government just because they belong to different culture and language. Kannada language is being forced on them in all walks of life", Kiran Thakur, a leader of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, alleged.
In a statement, Thakur alleged "harassment, neglect and deprivation" are the "daily experience" for Marathi-speaking people in the area bordering Maharashtra".
He said the problem was "created" by the Centre through the state reorganisation in 1956 and therefore must be solved by it. "Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had accepted in the Lok Sabha that the problem exists and that all efforts will be made to resolve the issue before the 1977 parliamentary elections".
He said Maharashtra had taken this issue to the Supreme Court in 2004. "Nevertheless, the issue can always be addressed in Parliament and justice can be given to 25 lakh Marathi people...", he said.
"It is therefore, time to take up the issue at the earliest. At least, this area can be brought under central rule till the problem is solved once and for all", he added.