SHILLONG, March 12 � Assam�s most powerful man, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was today asked in the Meghalaya Assembly to either �vacate his official residence at Khanapara or pay house rent� to Meghalaya Government.
The Assam Government website shows Gogoi�s official residence as: �Chief Minister�s Residence, Guest House No.1, Khanapara, Guwahati.�
The precise address of the Assam Chief Minister is the State Guest House on Koinadhara hillock in Khanapara and this property and a large chunk of Khanapara is one, out of the 12 disputed areas between Meghalaya and Assam.
�I strongly urge the Meghalaya Government to write to the Assam Chief Minister to vacate the land and hand it over to Meghalaya�or be asked to pay house rent to the Government of Meghalaya,� United Democratic Party legislator and former Khasi Students� Union president Paul Lyngdoh said calling the attention of the Assembly today.
Minister in-charge, Revenue RC Laloo had earlier set the ball rolling when he claimed before the media that Meghalaya has the necessary document to prove that Gogoi is an encroacher and continues to live in a disputed property.
The Minister said that Meghalaya has submitted documents in support of its claim over Khanapara, which includes the Assam Chief Minister�s official residence.
On August 9, 2011, in support of its claim, Meghalaya has handed over the documents at the ongoing Chief Secretary level talks between the two States, the Minister informed the House.
Giving insight into the dispute, Laloo said, the matter dates back to composite Assam when Khanapara was included in Greater Guwahati area for administrative purposes, despite strong objection from leaders from United Khasi-Jaintia Hills Autonomous Council.
In 1976, the construction work of the disputed bungalow began to facilitate VIPs� stay for an All India Congress Committee, Laloo said.
Meghalaya objected, but due to intervention of then Assam Governor Lallan Prasad Singh facilitating a meeting between the then Chief Ministers of the two States, the construction was allowed to go on.
Laloo said attempts are being made to solve this �festering� boundary problem between the two States. �The Chief Minister (Mukul Sangma) has taken up the matter with the Government of India on several occasions,� he told the House.
Meghalaya Assembly earlier resolved to take up with the Central Government to set up a Boundary Commission to settle the decades-old issue. Relations between the two States have soured at times, especially after the Langpih firing incident in 2010 in which several people died.