The 69th plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC), a regional planning body, would be held in the Meghalaya capital on January 23 with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the chair, officials said on Wednesday.
The NEC, which was set up in 1971, is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the northeastern region comprising Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and has the Governors and Chief Ministers as its members.
According to the officials, over the last 50 years, the NEC, under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), has been instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour aimed at removing the basic handicaps that stood in the way of normal development of the region and has ushered in an era of new hope in this backward area full of great potentialities.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government led by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma likely to meet the Union Home Minister to discuss some pending issues including the promulgation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the entire state and inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
The delegation of the MDA, in which Bharatiya Janata Party is also a constituent, would also raise issues such as the long-pending boundary dispute with Assam.
Some NGOs are also likely to meet the Home Minister on the same issues.
The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO), an umbrella body of more than 17 organisations, has been spearheading the agitation since 2019 for the introduction of ILP in the remaining part of the state.
The Meghalaya Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution on December 19, 2019 requesting the central government to impose the ILP in the remaining part of the hill state. If the ILP is enforced in the entire Meghalaya, the hill state, like other four northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur, would keep itself out of the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The ILP under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 was in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram. On December 11, 2019 it was promulgated in Manipur, to allow for inward travel of an Indian citizen into the ILP enforced areas for a stipulated period with the written permission of the state authority.