Opposition TMC in Meghalaya on January 24 said it would "revoke" the border pact signed with Assam if it comes to power in the State, asserting that fresh consultations will be initiated for a "sustainable" solution to the boundary dispute.
Elections to the 60-member Assembly are scheduled to be held on February 27 and counting of vote will take place on March 2. Assam and Meghalaya had in March 2022 decided to end their five-decade-old border crisis in six of the 12 contested locations.
“To address the issue of unwarranted surrender of land to Assam and protect the residents in border villages, the Border MoU signed with the Government of Assam will be revoked, and a fresh set of consultations will be initiated to find a sustainable solution to the border crisis,” the TMC manifesto, released by the party's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, said.
“In addition, the security of residents of border villages will also be enhanced through the setting up of police check-posts in strategic locations, and prevent unwarranted firing of Mukroh-like incidents that led to the unfortunate death of innocent residents of Meghalaya,” it said.
The border agreement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah by Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma, respectively. The pact sought to resolve the protracted dispute in six of the 12 places along the 884.9 km border between the two States.
The party also promised a "poverty-free" Meghalaya and assured a double-digit growth for the State in the next five years.
The TMC bolstered its footing in the northeastern State after 12 out of 17 Congress MLAs joined the party in 2021.
“Special emphasis would be laid on the services and tourism sectors with the aim to attract more private investment,” the manifesto said.
The party also released an economic plan - Vision Meghalaya 2033 – with the objective of making the hill State feature among the top 10 States on ease-of-doing-business rankings in the next five years. It assured resumption of coal mining by formulating a "scientific and sustainable" policy.
Among the other promises, the TMC said it would provide one lakh laptops to students pursuing higher education, and ₹1,000 every month to women and unemployed youths.
Asserting that all its flagship schemes will be implemented within 100 days of coming to power, the party said it is committed to "zero tolerance for corruption" in the State through formation of a vigilance committee and ensuring timely social audits.
“An expert committee will also be set up to study and resolve the demand for implementation of Inner line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya,” the manifesto added.
“Meghalaya TMC will ensure that the reins of the State are not surrendered to the external forces. The government will be of the people, by the people and for the people, which will pledge its allegiance to Meghalaya rather than to forces sitting in New Delhi or Guwahati,” it added, without elaborating.