Assam-Meghalaya Border Row: Possible ‘Give & Take’ formula on cards; CM Sarma meets Opposition parties
Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday held an interaction with representatives of all political parties on six areas of difference on Assam-Meghalaya border and apprised them on the progress of steps taken for settlement of the border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya.
Out of the 12 areas identified for settlement, six have been taken up for final settlement shortly – Hahim, Gizang, Tarabari, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillingkata and Ratacherra.
Sarma said, “Our efforts to resolve Assam-Meghalaya border row have started bearing fruits as six of the 12 areas of difference have been identified for resolution in the first phase. Based on recommendations of 3 regional-level committees and CM-level meetings, a roadmap has been prepared.”
State’s education minister Ranoj Pegu after attending the meeting told media that all the political parties have appreciated the steps taken by the state government and asked the take the state Assembly in confidence before taking the final decision.
On questions of whether Assam will lose land as a part of the pact, Pegu categorically said, “It’s not about who will get land and who will lose. These are already disputed areas and people living in these areas are deprived of many facilities due to the dispute. Therefore, a permanent solution it needed.”
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) party leader Aminul Islam said that as per the discussion, both Assam and Meghalaya has ‘technically’ agreed for a give & take formula to dispose the issue permanently.
However, Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Debabrata Saikia has asked the chief minister to hold a discussion on the entire matter in the Assam Assembly to reach to a consensus decision from the state. “It’s very important to have a discussion on the matter in the Assam Assembly before taking up the final decision,” Saikia added.
Earlier, Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong hinted that the agreement could be signed on January 21, the day Meghalaya will celebrate 50 years of its statehood, to partially settle the border disputes between the two states.
To build consensus on the agreement, the two governments had decided to further consult the proposed deal with Opposition parties, student unions and other stakeholders before signing an agreement.
Chief minister Sarma to hold discussion with All Assam Students Union (AASU) on the matter later in the day.