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Shah to meet Meghalaya, Assam CMs on March 29

The Meghalaya and Assam governments have signed an MoU, broadly

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Shillong: Union Home Minister Amit Shah would hold a joint meeting with Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the inter-state boundary dispute in New Delhi on March 29, Sangma said on Friday.

“The Union Home Minister has fixed the date (meeting on inter-state boundary dispute) on March 29, at 4:30 pm. This communication has come from the MHA. So all preparations are being made for the meeting,” Sangma said.

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The Chief Minister had earlier said that the Union Home Ministry had intimated verbally that the joint meeting would be held on March 27, but the date has been rescheduled.

The Meghalaya and Assam governments have signed an MoU, broadly outlining the contours of the agreement reached on six disputed areas. Assam and Meghalaya have agreed to resolve differences at six locations -Tarabari, Hahim, Pilangkata, Khanapara, Ratacheera and Gijang – along their border that covers 36 villages.

The boundary dispute between the two neighbouring States has lingered for more than five decades. Both the States have agreed in principle for the exchange and administrative control of these villages under a give and take policy.

The proposed meeting on March 29 is significant in the wake of the opposition Trinamool Congress having raised objections to the agreement signed between the two States.

Moreover, the Bharatiya Janata Party and United Democratic Party, the alliance partners of the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government have also voiced their concerns on the matter following protests from the Khasi and Garo tribesmen residing in the border areas.

In fact, several villagers have also demanded the government review the agreement. However, Chief Minister Sangma said that as far as the agreement is concerned, it has been shared in detail with the coalition partners of the MDA government and also other political parties.

“Nonetheless, it would be the endeavour of the government to find an amicable solution for all with all the concerns addressed,” he said, adding that the government has tried to resolve the dispute in the best possible manner. “We may not be able to resolve all the issues but it will always be our endeavour to resolve all as far as possible,” Sangma said. 

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