- Amid the boundary row between Maharashtra and Karnataka, the villages contiguous to Telangana in the Chandrapur district of the western State have also raised the demand for inclusion in the neighbouring Telugu State.
- At least 14 villages bordering Telangana demanded inclusion as they were ‘attracted’ to the development and welfare schemes, including ‘RythuBandhu’, ‘DalitaBandhu’, ‘RythuBima’, and free power supply to farmers, initiated by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
- With both States involved in a territorial dispute over an 80 sq. km stretch of land located on the border of Jivti taluka of Chandrapur district, and Kerameri Mandal in KumramBheemAsifabad district in neighbouring State since 1956 and claims the territory as their part, the villages are administered by both Maharashtra and Telangana as the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. The villagers have dual voter cards and many have ration cards from both States.
- Parandoli and Anthapur gram panchayats have a population of over 6,000, most of whom are Marathi-speaking SCs and some Muslims who migrated from drought-hit Nanded, Parbhani, and Jalna districts of Marathwada between 1970 and 1971, Congress leader and Rajura MLA Subhash RamchandraraoDhote told The Hindu.
- “80% of the people in those villages want to stay with Maharashtra, and the issue was being fueled up unnecessarily,” he said.
- According to Mr. Dhote, a handful of villagers want to merge with Telangana, and their demand is illegitimate, as the matter is still pending with the Supreme Court. “They are the citizens of Maharashtra and will continue to remain so.”
- Villagers maintain that their demand to merge with Telangana is valid as they are getting more benefits from the schemes of the KCR government.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB