Mukul slams piecemeal resolution of boundary row

SHILLONG, March 15: Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma on Tuesday cautioned the government against going ahead with a partial resolution of the decades-old interstate boundary dispute with Assam.
“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 (CM) 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,” Mukul told reporters after the end of the day’s proceedings.
He also warned that the state government will not be able to engage positively with its Assam counterpart to resolve the dispute in the remaining areas which involve bigger chunks of land and which 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 contested the CM’s claim on Malchapara and said the statement made by the CM on the floor of the House did not tally with reports coming in 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 stated.
He made it clear that when the state government is dealing with a sensitive and contentious issue that revolves concerns the interest of the people and the state, it should take cognizance of the views and opinion of all concerned parties.
“The all party meeting was convened only after the signing of the MoU,” Mukul recalled.
He hoped that the government will utilise its conscience and wisdom and review the MoU since they still have time. “I pray that good sense prevails,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Opposition All India Trinamool Congress on Tuesday maintained that they have articulated their concern and raised objection on the MoU signed by Meghalaya and Assam and it was now up to the people of the state to decide whether it is a win or a loss for them.
“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.
The Umroi MLA also claimed that while the two governments are trying to sign the agreement by the end of this month, Assam has already erected boundary pillars in the disputed areas and taking the people and the government of Meghalaya for a ride.

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