Centre supports Karnataka against Maharashtra over Belgaum
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 21:52
New Delhi: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that Belgaum district in Karnataka cannot be ceded to Maharashtra merely because it has a large chunk of Marathi- speaking people.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre pointed out that reorganisation of states was carried out in 1956 and 1960 on the basis of various criteria and language was only one of them and not the sole factor.

The Centre's affidavit filed through the Director, Ministry of Home Affairs, urged the apex court to dismiss Maharashtra's claim on the ground that there was no justification for the demand.

"It is submitted that the language of the people has been one of the criteria but not the sole criterion for inclusion of any area, i.e village, taluka, municipal area in a state.

"States Reorganisation Commission had a balanced approach to the issue and was not arbitrary. Both Parliament and the union government had considered all the relevant factors while considering the State Reorganisation Bill, 1956, and the Bombay Reorganisation Bill, 1960, and decided the village, taluka, municipal areas towns etc which are to be included in the concerned states," the affidavit said.

The affidavit was filed in response to the apex court's notice to the Centre seeking its view on the dispute between the two states over Maharashtra's demand for inclusion of Belgaum district since, according to it, a majority of the locals are Marathi-speaking.

Karnataka had also fiercely opposed ceding of the district to Maharashtra and the apex court is now seized of the dispute after Maharashtra filed a suit on the dispute.


First Published: Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 21:52

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