2nd phase of Assam-Meghalaya border talks after Assembly Session

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Shillong, March 17: Cabinet minister and spokesperson of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government Paul Lyngdoh on Friday said the second phase of border talks to resolve the remaining six areas of difference will take place after the upcoming Assembly’s budget session.

“As soon as state budget session is over we should be back to border talks,” Lyngdoh told reporters.

On the recent claim made by the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that Mukroh falls within the boundary of his state, the spokesperson said, “As I said, we have finalized discussion and six are pending. Anybody can say anything verbally but the thrust of this government is on who physically owns the land and to do that we need proper documentation… we can claim anything, it is so easy but let’s strengthen that claim through documentation and physical possession of the land.”

Asked if such claims and counter claims will affect the ongoing border talks, Lyngdoh however said, “Claims and counter claims come because the borders are not yet settled but once the borders are settled the question of claiming and counter claiming will not arise any further.”

“Again, Meghalaya was created under an Act of Parliament which clearly mentioned that the boundaries of Meghalaya are just an interpretation of an existing Act so they are temporary as per that Act itself. The State Reorganization Act 1971 leaves space for us to redefine the boundary of the state based on current discussion,” he clarified.

He, however, said that the cabinet has not discussed on reconstitution of the regional committees for taking forward the second phase of border talks.

“Today we only made a mention that we have six more areas of difference to work on. So what methodology we actually adopt is up to the cabinet,” he informed.

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