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Govt planning to give up Khasi-dominated villages to Meghalaya: CM Himanta

Slamming the opposition for objecting to the move, the chief minister said that people living in the border areas suffering for the mistakes committed by the Congress at the time of creation of states in the Northeast

GUWAHATI:

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on January 23, said that the government was planning to give up villages in the inter-state border areas that are dominated by people of the respective neighbouring states while coming down hard on the opposition Congress for objecting to such a move.

Addressing the press, Sarma said people residing at the borders were the worst sufferers. “If we keep a Khasi village with us, we have to provide them education in Khasi language. It is not possible. Similarly, if Meghalaya keeps an Assamese family with them, it will be a problem because they are a tribal state and they can’t give land to an Assamese family,” Sarma said.

Sarma’s comments came a day after the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) said it would move the Supreme Court if the state government continued with its “give and take” formula to settle the boundary disputes with Meghalaya.

He said everyone has been suffering for the mistakes committed by the Congress at the time of creation of states in the Northeast. The chief minister said that when the Congress had carved out the states, it did not demarcate the boundaries of the seven sister states properly due to which people living in the border areas have had to bear the brunt.

On Congress’s opposition to giving away 18.29 sq km land to Meghalaya, the chief minister said, “Before criticising, the Congress has to realise that they created Meghalaya. We had to shift our capital from Shillong to Dispur only because of their wrongdoings. How can they protest now?”

“How many thousand square kilometres have they left for Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. We are now planning to leave some villages dominated by their people,” he added.

“When Mizoram, Meghalaya and other states were formed, they should have been included by putting it down in the Act. That did not happen, and therefore after every 3-5 years people fight,” he said and added that the BJP has to correct the wrongdoings of the Congress party in the past 50 years. “We are still suffering for the mistakes committed at that time,” Sarma said.

“The Congress never wanted a united Northeast, that’s why it is left to us to fight for our borders. But it could have been done better at the time of the creation of the states. So over time, mistrust grew, but now we are trying to resolve it. When Congress created a state (in Northeast), it didn’t demarcate the boundary and incorporated in the law which created the state,” he said.

“As a result of Congress policy, today we are fighting among ourselves. Now we have to correct the Congress’s follies after 50 years,” he said

“After Meghalaya, we will have a talk with Arunachal Pradesh. We have also formed a committee headed by our minister Atul Bora to deal with the border issues with Mizoram. We will talk with them also. But we will have a meaningful discussion with Arunachal Pradesh shortly,” the chief minister said.

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