Assam and Meghalaya have decided to go beyond the status quo by adopting a give and take policy for resolving the age old boundary dispute between the two states.
The decision was taken at the border talks held between Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma at the main secretariat on Friday.
The second round of meeting between the two Chief Ministers will be held at Guwahati on August 6.
Both the Chief Ministers have also agreed to visit all the 12 areas of differences.
Addressing media persons after the meeting, Assam Chief Minister said the meeting with Meghalaya Chief Minister was to discuss and find a way out to the long standing boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya.
Himanta said that Meghalaya had identified 12 places as disputed areas and claims based on historical facts and other relevant datas have been placed on the table to justify that these were parts of Meghalaya and Assam should give them back to the state of Meghalaya.
He however said Assam too had also been justified by placing documents to prove that these 12 areas of difference belonged to Assam and that the claims made by the state of Meghalaya may not be justifiable.
“In view of the contradictory stand, it is important to resolve this dispute in a spirit of give and take and considering the long standing friendship between the people of Assam and Meghalaya and also in order to keep the spirit of North East alive,” Himanta said.
According to him, the dispute cannot be resolved by raising claims and counter claims and that there is a need to adopt a pragmatic approach.
He informed that both the states have decided that all 12 areas of differences will be discussed one by one.
“…relevant merits and demerits of claims and counterclaims will be discussed and whenever in these places, we see that it is really easy to resolve those disputes. It may not be able to resolve the entire dispute at a time but definitely we can start from some point and one by one, we will keep on resolving these disputes,” he said.
“Today’s discussion was very fruitful as we appreciate each other’s position. We also come to a common understanding that now we need to travel beyond the status quo,” Himanta added.
He said earlier whenever both the Chief Ministers met they used to give a joint statement that both the states have agreed to maintain the status quo in as far as the 12 areas of differences are concerned.
“However this time…what we are going to say to the people of Meghalaya and Assam is that we are firm and we are committed to resolve this dispute,” he said.
The Assam Chief Minister has also invited the Meghalaya Chief Minister for the second round of discussion on the boundary issue at Guwahati on August 6.
“I have invited Meghalaya CM to visit Guwahati on August 6, to start the second round of discussion, if we say that today is the first round of discussion,” he said.
He continued – “And if necessary, both the Chief Ministers will go to all the 12 sites to appreciate each other’s position and by the grace of God and by the blessings of both the states – people of Assam and people of Meghalaya – I am convinced that we will be able to resolve this dispute.”