The Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA), an alliance of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) on August 24 asked Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to resume dialogue with Assam to resolve the vexed inter-state boundary dispute with the neighbouring state.
The RDA is an alliance of the UDP and HSPDP, which are part of the MDA government in Meghalaya led by the National People’s Party (NPP).
During the meeting, the RDA delegation led by UDP chief adviser and former Assembly speaker, Bindo Mathew Lanong discussed with the chief minister pending solution to the inter-state boundary dispute, railway line, and inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
“We have expressed before the chief minister to have a review on the issue and propose to Assam to resume the dialogue for permanent solution which include Block 1 and Block 2. We cannot fight like India and China. The chief minister has also assured to pursue this matter,” Lanong told reporters.
The former Assembly speaker recalled that in 1987, the Chandrachud Committee had submitted its report but did not propose anything as far as finding a solution.
“The report only says that the sentiments of both sides should be respected,” Lanong said.
Moreover, he informed that the chief minister has assured to pursue with the Centre the importance of getting the two languages – Khasi and Garo included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
Recalling that the state Assembly had passed the Meghalaya State Language Act, 2005, which has recognized Khasi and Garo as the state’s associate official languages, Lanong said how the state missed an opportunity when in 2003, four languages were included in the 8th Schedule.
On railway line connecting Assam with Khasi Hills of the state, the former Assembly speaker said that the issue should go slow as far implementing the project for passenger train.
“However, cargo train or goods train may be examined upto Khanapara or Byrnihat so that carrier of goods would not be a problem. We have to examine this properly,” Lanong said.