Demand for dividing Meghalaya on ethnic lines grows ahead of Oct 30 by-election

Ahead of October 30 by polls, the demand for a bifurcation of Meghalaya on ethnic lines has grown louder. Two parties formed a coordination committee to press for the demand.

About 50 years back, Meghalaya was carved out of Assam. To take the demand ahead, Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the Garo Hills State Movement Committee (GHSMC) formed the coordination committee to intensify their claim for demarcation of the boundaries for the proposed Khasi-Jaintia and Garoland states.

HSPDP is one of the allies in the ruling coalition in Meghalaya. The proposed Garoland includes western Assam’s four districts — Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri and Kokrajhar. Presently, these areas are under the Bodoland in Assam and ruled under sixth schedule of the Constitution.

HSPDP president K.P. Pangniang told the media that after bifurcation of Meghalaya, one of the states would be for the Garos and the other for the Khasi-Jaintia communities.

“Demarcation of the boundaries clearly be defined to create a separate state for the Khasi-Jaintia and Garo people so that no problem emerges in future similar to the existing inter-state problem between Assam and Meghalaya,” Pangniang said.

GHSMC, a Conglomerate of several Garo organisations, has decided to launch movement for bifurcation. GHSMC had in December 2018 raised the demand for a separate Garoland state.

In 2014, the Meghalaya Assembly had rejected demand for the creation of a separate Garoland state in the western part of the state.

By elections will be held on October 30 in three assembly seats — Mawryngkneng and Mawphlang in the East Khasi Hills and Rajabala in the West Garo Hills district.

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