Meghalaya CM calls all-party meet on boundary row
Shillong, July 25 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has convened an all-party meet here Thursday to discuss the inter-state boundary dispute with Assam.
The Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) had pulled out from the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government over the boundary row.
However, the HSPDP kept "on hold" its decision to withdraw support to the Sangma government. Meghalaya has 12 areas of difference on the boundary with Assam.
"My government is serious on this matter (boundary row) and that's why I have called for an all-party meeting to resolve this issue," the chief minister told IANS.
Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state Jan 21, 1972. Since then, the inter-state boundary as defined under the North Eastern Areas (Re-Organisation) Act, 1971, has been a point of difference between Meghalaya and Assam.
However, the opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said that it would not attend the meet.
"Though, we are serious to see a solution to this burning issue but it's strange that the government didn't invite us for the all-party meet and, therefore, NCP will not attend the meeting," Leader of Opposition Conrad K. Sangma, said.
In fact, civil society groups, including politicians under the banner of 'people's movement', had threatened to intensify agitation if the Meghalaya government failed to find a solution to the boundary row.
"If the (Meghalaya) government fails to comply with our demands on the boundary row besides ensuring safety and security to the Khasi-Pnar people (residing in the border areas with Assam), the 'people's movement' will have no option but to launch an agitation," its chairman, Ardent M. Basaiawmoit, said.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had told IANS that his government wants to settle the boundary row with Meghalaya.
"We want to settle the issue (boundary row) with all our neighbouring states. We want to live peacefully as good neighbours not only with Meghalaya but with all our neighbouring states," Gogoi said last week.
In fact, the Meghalaya assembly had adopted a resolution March 16 last year, urging the union government to constitute a commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between Meghalaya and Assam.
However, the Assam assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing such a commission.
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