Wednesday, February 28, 2024

HSPDP, GNC reiterate separate state demand

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HSPDP leader HS Lyngdoh and Garo National Council members at the press conference on Saturday. (ST)

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The HSPDP and the Garo National Council (GNC), spearheading the separate state movement have expressed hope that people of the State would come forward to support their demand in the near future, even as they admitted that the movement for separate Khasi-Jaintia and Garo states is yet to get majority public support.

At a press conference on Saturday, the HSPDP mentioned that its candidates had garnered over one lakh votes in the last general election, which was a clear indication that the people have not rejected the idea for a separate Khasi-Jaintia state. The GNC, on the other hand, claimed that the student community had begun to come forward to support the demand for a separate Garo state.

GNC president Clifford Marak said the student’s body of Tura Government College and others have started to realise that the only solution for the unemployment problem among the Garo youths is to have a separate state.

“I expect the student community to join this movement in the immediate future. Once they join this movement we would organise a mass public rally to explain the people about our demands. We would start with a public rally in Tura and then in other district headquarters of Garo Hills” Marak said.

Replying to a query, he said both the HSPDP and the GNC had met several chief ministers in the past including late BB Lyngdoh, late Salseng C Marak, DD Lapang and even Purno A Sangma to know their opinion on the demands for separate Garo and Khasi-Jaintia states.

“None of them were against this demand. But none of them have come out in the open to support our movement,” the GNC president said while adding that they would continue to persuade senior political leaders to join the movement.

Meanwhile, HSPDP president Hoping Stone Lyngdoh said the demand for the separate Garo and Khasi-Jaintia states was in the overall interest of the Khasi and Garo people.

“We have been making this demand for the past 18 years. We would continue until the Central Government complies with our demand,” Lyngdoh added.

The HSPDP president further informed that they had recently submitted memoranda to both Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram regarding their demands.

“We were planning to meet both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister personally. But we could not meet them since they were engaged in handing the Anna Hazare movement at that time,” he added.

Both the parties, further, reiterated that though the Khasia, Jaintias and Garos followed the matrilineal system, there were major differences in languages, cultures, customs, traditions, local governance and even land holding system, which has necessitated the need for separate states for the Khasis-Jaintias and the Garos.

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