Centre may change stand on border dispute | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Centre may change stand on border dispute

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2010 03:09 IST
Dharmendra Jore
Dharmendra Jore
Hindustan Times
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In view of simmering discontent in Maharashtra over the state's dispute with Karnataka, the Congress-led central government is likely to tell the Supreme Court that the stand it had taken in an affidavit filed last week was not final.

A highly placed source in the government revealed this to Hindustan Times on Sunday on condition of anonymity.

The Centre's affidavit in the border dispute case said 865 Marathi-speaking areas of Karnataka were an integral part of that state. The Maharashtra government has filed a petition seeking the inclusion of these villages in Maharashtra on linguistic basis.

The state has argued that Marathi-speaking people dominate these areas in terms of numbers and hence the linguistic basis that the Centre applied while reorganising states 60 years ago, be applied here too.

The matter will be heard in the Supreme Court on today.

The Opposition has taken to the streets protesting against the Centre's stand and is planning to corner the government in the legislature's monsoon session beginning today.

The Congress-led state government will be able to tame the Opposition for the time being if the Centre gives it reprieve in the apex court.

"We expect that the Centre's explanation in court will help diffuse the protests considerably," said a Congress minister requesting anonymity.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told journalists on Sunday that all parties in the state had a common opinion on this.

"Whatever the Centre has said in its affidavit was in connection with our amended application. I must tell you that the issues are yet to be framed in this case," Chavan said.

Chavan will lead an all-party delegation to meet PM Manmohan Singh on July 14 and "convey the state's sentiments".