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Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma meets PM Modi on crucial state concerns Meghalaya

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma meets PM Modi on crucial state concerns

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 08 Aug 2023, 11:21 pm

Shillong/IBNS/UNI: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum seeking his intervention in addressing crucial concerns of the state, including the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, and the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

Sangma, who was accompanied by Assembly Speaker Thomas Sangma and his council of ministers, also sought the support of the Prime Minister for arriving at a solution to the remaining six out of twelve disputed areas between Assam and Meghalaya.

The Chief Minister highlighted the resolution passed by the Meghalaya State Assembly in December 2019, focusing on the need for ILP implementation in Meghalaya,” a statement issued by the chief minister’s office (CMO) said.

Sangma sought PM Modi's intervention as the state government awaits a response from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the consideration of ILP in Meghalaya.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister also emphasised the eligibility of Khasi and Garo languages for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

A resolution to this effect was passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in November 2018, and the matter is currently pending with the Centre.

The delegation also sought the support of Modi to resolve the remaining six out of twelve disputed areas between Assam and Meghalaya.

In March 2022, an MoU was signed, leading to joint boundary surveys conducted by both states. Reconstituted regional committees are currently working on assessing the status of these areas.

The Chief Minister also conveyed the state's views on the Constitution (125th Amendment) Bill, 2019 highlighting concerns related to the nomination of un-represented tribes to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Meghalaya.

The Meghalaya government argued that reserving seats in the district councils for the un-represented tribes would lead to “inequality of opportunity among different tribes, potentially endangering the unity and fraternity.”

“The State government decided against this nomination after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, given concerns of unequal opportunity among tribes,” the official statement informed.

On the ongoing peace talks with the outlawed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), the Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister that the outfit has expressed its readiness for unconditional talks with the Governments of India and Meghalaya, within the framework of the Indian Constitution and without any preconditions.

Acknowledging this development, the Ministry of Home Affairs has signalled the Meghalaya State Government to initiate peace talks with HNLC, and the Ministry is committed to offering necessary support and guidance throughout the process.

The Chief Minister also informed the Prime Minister that the formal dialogue is underway, and the State Government is optimistic that the peace process will reach a successful conclusion.
The government also sought the support of Modi to resolve the remaining areas of difference between Meghalaya and Assam.

Sangma also expressed the government’s reservations about the nomination of unrepresented tribes to the Autonomous District Councils.

The delegation argued that reserving seats in the district councils for the un-represented tribes would lead to “inequality of opportunity among different tribes, potentially endangering the unity and fraternity.”

Apprising the Prime Minister that Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) are very critical for Meghalaya, Sangma informed the Prime Minister that Meghalaya has embarked on an ambitious goal of becoming a USD 10 billion economy within the next five years, and to achieve this target.

“The State requires to double its economy through investment in physical and social infrastructure, which will drive sustainable growth and employment opportunities,” he told PM Modi.

Moreover, the Chief Minister said that the state government has actively pursued private investments and aimed to foster a robust private sector.

“Despite efforts, inherent challenges related to land tenure systems, remoteness, and rugged terrain have constrained private investments. Therefore, public investments, including those from EAPs are crucial to boost the state's economy. These projects, which account for around 72 percent of the project cost as grants from the Government of India to the North-Eastern and Hill states, form a pivotal component of the investment portfolio,” the Chief Minister said.

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