Meghalaya govt welcomes suggestions from different stakeholders for resolving border dispute with Assam
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the majority of stakeholders have stressed on the need to base the discussion with Assam as per the land documents and historical background
The state government on December 15 held a meeting with various stakeholders, including chiefs of KHADC, JHADC, traditional heads, members of civil society organisations for resolving the long-pending boundary dispute with Assam, and welcomed the suggestions put forward by them.
After the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the state government has accepted the views and suggestions given all the stakeholders on the issue.
“I am happy to tell you that we will go forward. The government will examine thoroughly (the views and suggestions) of the stakeholders before the chief ministerial level talks,” he said.
Tynsong, who also heads the regional committee for Ri Bhoi, stated that the majority of stakeholders have stressed on the need to base the discussion with Assam as per the land documents and historical background. He also informed that the discussion revolved around six areas of differences, and the remaining six will be taken up later.
Tynsong also added that the regional committee for East Jaintia Hills is expected to submit its report by next week. Notably, so far, only two of the three regional committees have submitted their respective reports to the chief minister.
On the demand for making the reports of the border panels public, the deputy chief minister said that that too will be done in the opportune time. “Let the two chief ministers sit down and once the decision is taken, we will make it (reports) public. But right now, we cannot do that…,” he said.
Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar, who heads the regional committee for West Khasi Hills, expressed shock at the alleged failure of the opposition legislators to attend the meeting.
“I expected the opposition to be with us as they have lots of experience. But they did not come to the meeting, they did it for reasons best known to them,” he said, urging the opposition not to “unnecessarily” criticise the steps taken by the state government in this regard.
“I hope they understand the seriousness of this matter and I wish they will cooperate, as this benefits both the states,” said the HSPDP leader.
When asked if the six areas of difference can be resolved within this month, Tongkhar said, “I cannot assure you anything now. Let the talk take place between the two governments. But yes, from our side, we would want that to happen as a Christmas gift to some of the villages in the border.”
Meanwhile, BJP state president Ernest Mawrie, said that the party has suggested that since Meghalaya is going to celebrate its 50th year of statehood in January, this is the right time to resolve the boundary dispute once and for all.
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