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Mukul demands MDA govt to scrap MoU with Assam

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Shillong, Dec 9: Leader of Opposition Dr. Mukul Sangma on Friday asked the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government to scrap the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Assam for resolving the six of the twelve areas of difference.

His statement came a day after the Meghalaya High Court had directed that no physical demarcation and erection of boundary posts on the ground in Assam-Meghalaya border till February 6, next year.

The order was passed by the Single Bench after hearing a petition which sought a stay to the operation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Assam and Meghalaya on March 29.

The petition was filed by four traditional chiefs – Syiem of Jirang R Hamberly Wahlang, Acting Syiem of Hima Mylliem Ainam Manik, Sirdar of Nonglang Sirdarship Pholasly Nianglang and Acting Chief of Nongspung Syiemship Erald Jyrwa.

Congratulating the petitioners, Sangma told reporters that this very development must be an ‘eye opener’ for the people in government. “Therefore, let us wait and see whether they (Govt) find reason to engage in course correction in the best interest of our people who are affected and please remember when we say people are affected means we are all affected because the state is affected,” the AITC leader said.

Asked if his party would demand the government to scrap the MoU, Sangma said, “The course correction revolves around that only.”

The traditional chiefs in their petition had requested the court to set aside the MoU signed between Assam and Meghalaya as it is contrary to Article 3, 13, 29 (1) and the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution which has resulted in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution and further to pass appropriate direction to the respondent states to follow the Sixth Schedule in letter and spirit before entering into any agreement for handing over of land which are under the autonomous district council in the state of Meghalaya.

They alleged that the MoU was signed without consulting or taking the consent of or involving the constitutionally recognized native chiefs and their durbars such as petition Syiems and Sirdar, etc, under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and also the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.

The traditional chiefs further stated that the MoU is in principle contrary to the provision of Article 3 of the Constitution under which the Parliament exclusively is competent to alter the area or boundaries of existing states and there are no correspondent entry in the Seventh Schedule which means that the states do not have the authority to determine changing the boundaries of the existing states.

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