‘Don’t rush’: TMC cautions Conrad Sangma on Meghalaya border pact with Assam

The Trinamool Congress’s push to reconsider the proposed agreement comes a day after chief minister Conrad Sangma told the assembly that 30 of the 36 disputed villages along the border will be retained by Meghalaya.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma interacts with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma during a meeting on the Meghalaya-Assam border situation at Koinadhara, in Guwahati on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma interacts with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma during a meeting on the Meghalaya-Assam border situation at Koinadhara, in Guwahati on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
Published on Mar 09, 2022 12:59 AM IST
Copy Link
ByDavid Laitphlang

SHILLONG: The Trinamool Congress (TMC), the only opposition party in the Meghalaya assembly, on Tuesday cautioned chief minister Conrad Sangma against rushing into a border agreement with neighbouring Assam that involves a land swap to resolve a lingering border dispute between the two states.

“I would like to appeal to the government to hold on, have more exhaustive understanding about this complex contentious issue before you decide to resolve this contentious issue part by part,” Mukul Sangma told the government in support of a motion moved by party colleague George B Lyngdoh, who represents Umroi constituency in the assembly..

The Trinamool’s suggestion to reconsider the proposed agreement comes a day after chief minister Conrad Sangma told the assembly that 30 of the 36 disputed villages along the border will be retained by Meghalaya. Sangma said chief ministers of the two states were scheduled to meet Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, March 9, to take the initial agreement forward.

A committee set up to resolve the five-decade old dispute suggested a land swap to resolve 6 of the 12 disputes along with inter-state border. The committee recommended that of 36.79sqkm disputed land in six areas - Gizang, Tarabari, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pilingkata and Ratacherra - Assam should get 18.51sq km and the remaining 18.28sqkm should go to Meghalaya.

Mukul Sangma said the state government cannot leave Block I and Block II including Khanduli and Psiar which covers a large area, in silos for negotiation and discussion and warned “the moment we take up these areas in silos, then we will not be able to negotiate with Assam from a position of strength. That is why I would like to appeal to this government hold on, have patience, hold on, have patience.”

He reasoned that if the memorandum of understanding is finalised, Assam could insist on the same parameters – including the ethnicity and will of the people - that was adopted for the first six areas of difference in respect of Block I & II.

“Please remember that the counterpart has been aggressively trying to create new settlement after settlement bringing in other people belonging to ethnic communities to make our Khasi-Pnar community minority there in most of the villages and this is happening on a regular basis,” he alleged.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, July 01, 2022