Why is Union Home Minister Amit Shah ‘dilly-dallying’ with Meghalaya government’s demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state?

Senior ministers from Meghalaya, led by chief minister Conrad K. Sangma, are camping in New Delhi since Tuesday to meet Amit Shah on the most crucial demand of the state.

Initially, it was reported that the delegation would meet Amit Shah on Tuesday evening, or on Wednesday morning.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday late evening, the crucial meeting with Amit Shah was postponed.

Sources in the corridors of power in Shillong said the delegation would now try to meet the Union Home Minister on Thursday evening.

Amit Shah’s dilly-dally on the crucial ILP demand has started to disturb people of Meghalaya, including the pressure groups.

It is still not certain that Conrad K. Sangma and his ministers will get to meet Amit Shah even on Thursday evening.

Shah would undertake a visit to Itanagar on Thursday to attend the celebrations of 34th Statehood Day of Arunachal Pradesh.

People have started to realize that if Amit Shah was serious about Meghalaya’s demand for ILP, he would have found time to visit Shillong, or could have met the Meghalaya delegation in Itanagar as well.

On January 30, Conrad K. Sangma had met Amit Shah, and had told him that a delegation would like to meet to discuss about the crucial issue in details.

But Amit Shah had told Sangma that the meeting would be possible only after the Dehli Assembly election.

The Meghalaya Assembly on December 19 adopted a resolution for implementing ILP, which will impose restrictions on the entry of ‘outsiders’ in the hill state.

The resolution was moved by chief minister Conrad K Sangma, and members across party lines, including the ruling BJP, had supported it.

Interestingly, it took 41 days for the Meghalaya CM to meet Amit Shah, and discuss about the important issues of the state.

In fact, Sangma is under tremendous pressure to impose ILP in Meghalaya as pressure groups, and especially the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisation (CoMSO), have threatened to intensify agitations on the demand.

Earlier, it was reported that Meghalaya government’s proposal to introduce ILP in the state may not get the approval of New Delhi.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), according to reports, have no immediate plans to introduce ILP in Meghalaya.

While ILP was extended to Manipur on December 11, the MHA is yet to decide on Meghalaya government’s proposal for introduction of ILP.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs are reportedly still indecisive on the ILP demand.

If Amit Shah and the MHA are not keen to extend ILP to Meghalaya, the message should be clear and loud.

Keeping the Meghalaya government hanging, and creating a situation of total uncertainty, is definitely not good for the tribal state.

Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in