Assam unit of Trinamool Congress (TMC) party termed the signing of the agreement for the settlement of an inter-state boundary dispute between Assam and Arunachal as meaningless.
Addressing a press conference here in Guwahati on Friday, the Assam TMC Media Department Chairman, Dilip Kumar Sarma alleged that this is a political move by the ruling BJP party for temporary gains ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“The chief minister of Assam is indulging in spreading false propaganda ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. No rules and regulations were followed while singing the MoU with the neighbouring state on the border issue. This move is temporary, only to gain the votes of the people residing in the Assam-Arunachal border,” alleged Dilip Kumar Sarma.
Sarma also said that of late, in the Assam Assembly, Border Area Development Minister Atul Bora had submitted a data stating that a total of 82,000 hectares of land is being encroached upon by the four neighbouring states namely Arunachal, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. Of this, Arunachal Pradesh had encroached upon 16,144.01 hectares of land.
“How many hectares of land has Assam been able to recover from neighbouring state Arunachal amid signing of the so-called historic treaty between the two states on Thursday? questioned Sarma, adding, “Arunachal has been ceded 60 of the 71 villages in the disputed area, while the remaining 11 will be in Assam.”
He also questioned the Assam Chief Minister about not disclosing the total number of hectares of land being settled between the two states. The minister only disclosed the number of villages, Sarma alleged.
On the other hand, Dilip Kumar Sarma also emphasized some technical aspects in the press conference, saying that no dispute is resolved through this agreement.
"If the leaders of the two states signed a MoU for the settlement of an inter-state boundary dispute sitting in Delhi, there is really no solution. For this, firstly, the map of the states in the Constitution of India as well as in the map of the 'Survey of India' must be reformed. Secondly, the Centre will have to pass the Resolution in Parliament. This is possible only when the particular state adopts a resolution in the assembly and sends it to the central government. Prior to this, an all-party delegation should be sent to the disputed areas to take stock of the actual situation. The Assam government has not done anything in this either. So how a long standing dispute can get settled with an overhead agreement?" Sarma added.
Sarma mentioned that Assam should have move the Supreme Court if the neighbouring state of Arunachal was not willing to give up our encroached lands.
“All of us will accept the orders of the Supreme Court," Sarma said.
Sarma demanded that the border dispute must be settled only after recovering the encroached land by neighbouring states.
“Despite having a separate department for the development of border areas, the Assam government has not done anything to solve the issues of the border residents,” Sarma alleged further.