After the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row, a Maharashtra-Telangana border dispute may escalate as 14 villages of Chandrapur district in the western state bordering the Telugu one, have expressed interest to join the latter alleging continuous neglect and lack of development by the former.
Although, all these 14 villages geographically located in remote Jivati tehsil of Chandrapur district are part of Maharashtra the dependence of these villages is more on Telangana.
These 14 hamlets have lagged behind in development due to the government’s negligence and lack of developmental projects.
The villages have to struggle for basic facilities like roads and water; because of this, the local people resent the Maharashtra government.
Earlier Andhra Pradesh and now Telangana (after division) have started giving special attention to these 14 hamlets.
The Telangana government is providing facilities like Gram Panchayat building, school, water tanks and other basic facilities.
The administration of Telangana is constantly reaching out to these people, and villagers are taking advantage of the social welfare scheme of the Telangana government.
Although legally these villages are a part of Maharashtra, the Telangana government is continuously attracting the people of these villages with its schemes. The farmers are also getting benefits from schemes like Rytu Bandhu, on the other hand, financial grants for the marriage of girls, and pensions for the elderly are attracting people.
All these 14 villages figure in the voter’s list of both the states and the people there enjoy dual identity, entitling them to take benefits of all the basic facilities including political status from both Telangana and Maharashtra.
Sudhakar Jadhav, deputy sarpanch of the border Nakewada village, said that most of the people of 14 border villages are connected with Telangana, compared to Maharashtra, the people’s representatives, government and administration of Telangana are paying more attention to these villages, due to which people feel connected with Telangana.
Umaji Jadhav (one of the villagers) said, “The Telangana government gave me the ownership rights of farming and about 50 people of the village got the benefit of this scheme, due to which they got the financial grant, be it a scheme like Rytu Bandhu or the monetary amount being received for the marriage of the girl. Those people are very happy.”
Umaji also believes that the Telangana government is giving what the Maharashtra government did not give in the last 50 years, so now he wants to join Telangana. Vijay Rathod (another resident) said that most of the people of the villages believe that the Telangana government is giving more benefits than the Maharashtra government whether it is agricultural schemes or employment guarantees.
However, Subhash Dhote, MLA of this border area Rajura, Maharashtra, rejected the demand of the people to join Telangana and said 70 to 80 per cent of people of these14 villages are Marathi speaking and they have to remain with Maharashtra.
He believes that some people are definitely attracted to Telangana, but their number is negligent, the government of Maharashtra is working on the development of the border area.
Dhote further informed that recently, these 14 villages got the status of revenue villages, and added that the work of giving ownership rights of farming has also started.
Dhote also referred to a Supreme Court decision, and added that most people are in Maharashtra’s favour.