Two local parties of Meghalaya have formed a coordination committee ahead of the October 30 by-elections of three Assembly seats in the state.
To step up their demand for bifurcation of Meghalaya.
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.
The HSPDP is a constituent of the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government in which the Bharatiya Janata Party with two MLAs, too, is a partner.
The demand for the creation of Garoland comprising western Assam’s four districts — Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri, and Kokrajhar — inhabited by the matrilineal Garo community once become a major issue in the northeast region when the Bodoland statehood movement was its peak.
The Bodoland issue was more or less resolved after the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) accord was signed in January 2020 and 1,615 extremists along with their arms and ammunition surrendered to the government.
HSPDP president K.P. Pangniang told the media that after the 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.
He said the coordination committee would identify and demarcate the areas that would fall in the two proposed states.
The GHSMC, a conglomerate of seven Garo organisations including a regional political party named Garo National Council, along with the HSPDP have also decided to launch a joint movement to intensify their demand for the bifurcation of Meghalaya.
The GHSMC had in December 2018 raised the demand for a separate Garoland state after several extremist outfits also voiced the similar demand.