Mamata Banerjee Upset Over Being Left Out During India-Bangladesh Talks: Sources

Mamata Banerjee Upset Over Being Left Out During India-Bangladesh Talks: Sources

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is upset over being left out of the consultation on key decisions between India and Bangladesh during the neighbouring country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit, sources have told NDTV. She is upset because her government’s views on critical issues have not been taken into consideration before making the announcements on matters that impact West Bengal significantly, sources said.
One of the reasons for this is the Farakka Agreement, which was referred to in the joint statement. The agreement expires in 2026, and both India and Bangladesh have decided to push for its renewal during PM Sheikh Hasina’s visit and address the issues related to the prevailing agreement. The Farakka Agreement impacts West Bengal to a large extent, and Mamata Banerjee, sources have said, has expressed her displeasure as the state government’s views have not been taken into consideration on such a crucial issue.

PM Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met in New Delhi on Saturday and agreed on the formation of a Joint Technical Committee to begin discussions to renew the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty of 1996. The Farakka Barrage is a critical piece of infrastructure in West Bengal where the Ganges flows into Bangladesh and is instrumental in ensuring that water diverts into the Hooghly River, which is critical for the functioning of the Kolkata Port and meets the water needs of urban settlements along the Hooghly-Bhagirathi river, including Kolkata.

The agreement on the Teesta waters issue and the decision to send a technical team to Bangladesh for discussions on Teesta River water sharing have also upset Mamata Banerjee. West Bengal has had concerns regarding the sharing of Teesta waters, and this has been a contentious issue previously.

PM Sheikh Hasina is set to visit China in July, and China has expressed interest in building the Teesta reservoir in Bangladesh. India, under its Neighbourhood First and Act East policies, aims to move ahead with the Teesta waters pact, as it has been a long pending bilateral issue between India and Bangladesh.

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Sources have confirmed to NDTV that Mamata Banerjee is likely to write to PM Modi on the issue, and Trinamool MPs are likely to raise the issue in Parliament. The TMC is also likely to reach out to INDIA Bloc allies for support on the issue. Top sources clarified that Mamata Banerjee is clear that she does not have any issue with Bangladesh and indeed shares a warm relationship with PM Sheikh Hasina. The West Bengal Chief Minister has welcomed the decisions such as e-medical visa facility for people from Bangladesh, which was also announced during PM Sheikh Hasina’s visit, the source said.


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