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Monday, May 27, 2024

Former Deputy CM blames Congress for border mess

SHILLONG:
UDP chief adviser and former deputy chief minister Bindo M Lanong on Tuesday said the Congress had never taken keen interest to follow up the report of the Chandrachud Committee on the inter-state boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam.
Speaking about his book Golden Meghalaya, which was released on the occasion of the 50th Meghalaya Day celebration, Lanong said the YV Chandrachud Committee was formed by the both government of Assam and government of Meghalaya with the blessings of the Centre in 1985 to demarcate the border between the two states.
However in 1987, the Chandrachud Committee submitted its report without any recommendation, he said adding that the report only mentioned what the Assam leaders expressed and wanted and what Meghalaya leaders have expressed but without any recommendation.
“Unfortunately there was no follow up. The Congress was in Delhi, Assam and Meghalaya and had they followed up in 1987, I think we will not suffer today. You may ask them why they did not follow up as they were completely silent after the Chandrachud Committee submitted the report,” he said.
Lanong also said that he does not agree with those who believe that Meghalaya was given statehood without a proper boundary.
“I don’t agree with those who believe in that stand. If you wait until the boundary is identified maybe we would not even get a state. How can you club together the issue of identification of boundaries and the issue of statehood? If you wait for identification or solution to the boundary and let the state come later, statehood may be cancelled,” he argued.
On the positive development in the border talks between Assam and Meghalaya, Lanong asserted the need to solve the boundary dispute on the basis of understanding, goodwill and the obtaining ground reality.
“Therefore, I say that it will be good to know the history but while negotiating on the solution they should go more by what it is today,” he said.  Natural boundaries which were there 200 – 400 years ago are no longer there as some hills have been destroyed or wiped out and some old rivers have disappeared.
Lanong also emphasised the need to study papers, maps and old documents in the spirit of goodwill and understanding in order to solve the long-pending dispute. “We would like to see the leaders of Assam and Meghalaya display their leadership as some Khasis are there in Assam and some Assam people are there in Meghalaya so in the border it is like that and they need each other,” he said.
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