Mukul warns Meghalaya Govt on piecemeal resolution of boundary row

Mukul warns Meghalaya Govt on piecemeal resolution of boundary row

Mukul Sangma, the Leader of the Opposition, warned the government on Tuesday against proceeding with a partial settlement of the decades-old interstate boundary dispute with Assam.

After the end of the day’s proceedings, Mukul told the reporters, “Going by the reply of Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on the floor of the House, it is abundantly clear that the government wants to go ahead with the MoU. He even indicated that March 27 will be the date when they would seek tripartite sittings and finalise the MoU on the six areas of differences.”

In addition, Mukul Sangma also warned that the state government would be unable to work cooperatively with its Assam counterpart to resolve the dispute in the remaining areas, which involve larger land parcels and are more sensitive.

“We must ensure that we are in a position of strength when we hold discussions otherwise we will end up giving and giving. It will not be a give and take anymore,” the Opposition leader said.

He also disputed the CM’s claim about Malchapara, claiming that the CM’s statement on the House floor did not match reports from ground zero. “I am told that letters have been sent to both the CMs against the decision of Malchapara going to Assam,” the Opposition leader said.

Moreover, he made it clear that when the state government is dealing with a sensitive and contentious issue involving the people’s and state’s interests, it should consider the views and opinions of all parties involved.

He hopes that the government will use its wisdom and conscience to review the MoU while there is still time. “I pray that good sense prevails,” he added.

Meanwhile, the opposition All India Trinamool Congress said on Tuesday that they had expressed their concern and raised objections to the Meghalaya-Assam MoU signing and that it was now up to the people of the state to decide whether they had won or lost.

“We have asked the government to go slow but they are terming our objection as a hurdle. If you look at the entire situation out of 2,700 sq km area of difference we are settling for 36 sq km which is hardly 15% of the area of differences,” Opposition Chief Whip, George B Lyngdoh said.

However, while the two governments try to sign the agreement by the end of the month, the Umroi MLA claims that Assam has already erected boundary pillars in the disputed areas, putting the people and government of Meghalaya on the back foot.

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