• The dispute is over 7,000 sq km area along Maharashtra’s border with Karnataka, in districts of Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Bidar, and Gulbarga etc.
• All these areas are predominantly Marathi-speaking, and Maharashtra wants them to be merged with the state.
• Karnataka holds the view that settlement of boundaries is final and boundary was neither tentative nor flexible.
• The dispute goes back to 1956, when State Reorganisation Commission included these areas to Karnataka citing more than 50% population as Kannada-speaking. However, Maharashtra claims that in 1956, Marathi-speakers outnumbered Kannada-speakers in those areas.
• Mahajan Commission in 1967 recommended transfer of 264 villages to Maharashtra. Maharashtra rejected the report and it was not implemented.
Mechanisms to resolve disputes between states:
• Article 3 empowers Parliament to form a new state and alter the areas, boundaries or names of existing States.
• Article 131 confers upon Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction to deal with centre-state/inter-state disputes.
• In 2004, Maharashtra government moved the SC under this over this dispute.
• Article 263 entrusts the President to create an inter-state council, which may tender advice regarding resolution of inter-State disputes.
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Belagavi
Mains level: Mechanisms to resolve disputes between states