SHILLONG, March 17: The NPP-led new Meghalaya government has sought Prime Minister’s intervention in resolving vexed border dispute with Assam. Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma made this request to Prime Minister Modi when he called on him along with his cabinet colleague at New Delhi on Saturday, an official source said.
Sangma met Modi along with MDA partners and cabinet ministers at his residence in New Delhi to discuss on issues and challenges of the state. The meeting lasted for about 25 minutes, wherein the chief minister apprised Prime Minister on the block allocation under planning which after 14th Finance Commission was changed.
“We requested that these allocations should be made again and those project should be revived because the Northeast states are very small. Therefore, the fund requirement even be the devolution of tax has gone up it is not enough to fund developmental projects. We want those allocations to be revive again”, said the chief minister.
The chief minister also informed the Prime Minister on the overall financial burden that Meghalaya is facing and sought central assistance to meet the state’s requirements. “We mentioned to Prime Minister about the National Games and we told him that the National Games coincides with 50 years of statehood of Meghalaya. Therefore, it is very important and it should be celebrated in a best manner possible,” the chief minister added.
The chief minister also requested for the Prime Minister’s support not just from the point of sports infrastructure but even from the tourism, urban affairs, roads infrastructure, water supply, which are all linked to the hosting of National Games.
“This event is an opportunity for us and it will bring a massive change in the state,” the chief minister said. The issue of coal ban by the NGT was also discussed with the Prime Minister. “We have requested his personal intervention to resolve the issue at the earliest in the interest of all stakeholders,” he said.
Minister for PWD (Roads), etc Prestone Tynsong, health minister A. L. Hek, transport minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, sports and youth affairs minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, amongst others accompanied the chief minister.
“We mentioned to Prime Minister about the National Games and we told him that the National Games coincides with 50 years of Statehood of Meghalaya. Therefore, it is very important and it should be celebrated in a best manner possible,” the chief minister added.
The six-party Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition includes 19 members from the National People’s Party (NPP), six from the United Democratic Party (UDP), four from the People’s Democratic Front (PDF), two each from the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) besides one Independent.
Conrad, who also holds finance portfolio, pressed upon both Modi that Meghalaya Government will need liberal central assistance from the Centre. There were talks on the border issues and bilateral border trade with next door Bangladesh. The other issues included claim of Shillong as a smart city, sources said.