The opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) is not serious about solving the vexed Meghalaya-Assam border dispute, National People’s Party (NPP) leader and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said yesterday after filing his nomination for the February 27 election.
“The TMC, which has entered our state recently, has said very clearly they want to scrap the MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed between the CMs of Meghalaya and Assam, which shows that these people are not at all serious about the long-pending issue along the boundary of the two states,” Tynsong said.
The border agreement to resolve Phase 1 of the negotiations was controversial, with border residents, pressure groups and opposition parties against it as it ceded control of roughly 18 square kilometres of disputed territory to Assam. Even parties within the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance expressed misgivings about it in public, though apparently not in the cabinet. The NPP, however, has continued to tout the deal as a success.
The people will judge between the vision of the NPP and TMC and give their verdict in the election, Tynsong said.
On allegations levelled against the government regarding massive corruption during its five years in power, the Deputy CM said, “Anybody can create confusion among the people with claims but if you really have evidence, why not take legal measures? I have said it in the past – if they have allegations against the NPP-led government, take it up through legal means. We will not hide anything.”
Recently, the CM, Conrad K Sangma, got into a bit of hot water by highlighting the TMC’s outsider status in Meghalaya, having originated in West Bengal. The TMC accused him of making communal comments but Sangma denied this.
When asked about this, Tynsong said, “They can also allege or call the NPP a Meghalaya-based party, which is true. It is very open that the TMC started in Bengal and has its origins there. So, why create confusion about that? Dr Mukul Sangma (the TMC state leader) joined a Bengal party. If he wanted to join the NPP, we could have said that he is a citizen of Meghalaya and wanted to strengthen a Meghalaya-based party but, instead, he joined the TMC.”
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