Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will visit Shillong on July 23 to discuss the vexed boundary dispute issue between Assam and Meghalaya. This meeting is scheduled a day before the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Shillong. This will be the first official chief Ministerial talk between Assam and Meghalaya ever since the new Government formed in these two states.
Informing about it, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said a brief meeting between the two CMs will be held at the secretariat or any place acceptable to both sides adding “We will be having a discussion at a more official level this time.”
The CM further said, he had informally discussed the boundary issue with the Assam CM on Saturday last week.
“The Assam CM and I had a one-to-one meeting for approximately 45 minutes. In that meeting, we have gone through all the areas of differences and discussed many points (which is not appropriate to mention at this point),” he said.
“But what we have decided now is that the Assam CM will be coming to Shillong on July 23, one day before the visit of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on July 24,” he added.
The proposed meeting will be attended by the Chief Secretaries of both states. Exchange of presentations and discussions will be held in detail.
He further informed following this, an official meeting between the two states will take place in Guwahati.
“In that, we will be going with our full team. The date for that has not been fixed and it will most probably be fixed on July 23, when the Assam CM comes to Shillong for the visit of the Union Home Minister,” Sangma said.
Stating that both sides are keen to find out an amicable solution to end the long-pending boundary dispute, the Chief Minister said, “Therefore, we are working on that…it is not a very simple and easy affair but we are very committed to this and we will work and try our best to find the solution to the boundary issue.”
On the allegation that Meghalaya has encroached in 53 areas, the Meghalaya CM said, “In last 50 years, there could have been situations where there could have been movements from Assam side and Meghalaya side but what we are here to understand and move forward is very simple that we want to yes keep the facts of the past in front of us but we need to realize that we need to have a fresh approach to the whole process. That is why both of us are trying to have a fresh approach. We are trying to find out how we can practically move forward. Past aspects obviously need to be kept in mind, it is not that it is not important but if we stick too much with the past, we may not be able to move forward in the future.”
Asked if Meghalaya would stick to the 12 areas of difference where documents have been also submitted to Assam a few years back, Conrad said that the state is sticking to the 12 areas of difference.