Despite the demand for the implementation of ILP is high in Meghalaya, the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) remained silent on the issue. The BJP leaders argued that the inner line permit (ILP) is restrictive for the tourism sector which could result in significant opportunity loss to the tourism sector.
Speaking to reporters after the release of the party’s election manifesto in the city, BJP’s national secretary Rituraj Sinha said the matter needs to be deliberated.
While stating that the ILP issue has to be addressed with all stakeholders, the BJP leader said, “We believe that there is genuine reason that people are arguing for ILP in the state, but we also believe that the development of Meghalaya had to be led by tourism. And for tourism, a lot of people have argued that ILP is restrictive which could result in significant opportunity loss to the tourism sector.”
The demand for an inner line permit in the state is not new; it became even stronger after the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act. A long-pending demand of the pressure groups and the political parties of Meghalaya ‘No ILP, No Rest’ reverberates across the state, but it has not been able to change Delhi’s mind on the issue.
The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in December 2019 adopted a resolution for implementing ILP, which places restrictions on the entry of ‘outsiders” into the hill state.
However, Sinha said, “Post elections hopefully, we will be in a position in the legislative assembly to have enough count to do a thorough debate and then take a final formal view on the ILP matter.”
“These matters need due deliberations, we want to take policy action which is good for the welfare of Meghalayan, ILP is an issue that has good rationale for and against, it needs to be deliberated and we will do so post election,” he added.
The centre has been silent on the issue and the delay in implementing the ILP has caused resentment and hurt stakeholders and political parties. Since the centre has not spoken out, the people and political leaders remain in the dark about the fate of the resolution.