oppn parties Mamata Broke No New Ground in Bangladesh

News Snippets

  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
  • Pakistan assures India that no anti-India activity would be allowed in the Kartarpur corridor
  • Pakistan to allow visa-free access to 5000 pilgrims every day to undertake pilgrimage using the Kartarpur corridor
  • Karnataka crisis: BJP wants floor test today
  • Novak Djokovic fights off a spirited challenge from Roger Federer to win his 5th Wimbledon title in an epic - the best ever - final that went on for nearly five hours
  • England wins the World Cup in an epic final that went down to the wire. The match was tied and the Super over was tied too, but England won as they hit more boundaries
  • Good news for monsoon, El Nino weakens and is likely to fade away in a couple of months
  • SC rules that Maratha quota in Maharashtra cannot be applied retrospectively
  • Iconic Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh shut down as it is in danger of collapse due to overload
  • SBI not to charge any amount for digital money transfers through RTGS, NEFT and IMPS
  • Pakistan says Indian planes can only fly over its airspace if India pulls back its fighter jets from advanced bases
  • Congress-JD(S) alliance to seek floor test at the earliest
  • Supreme Court orders status quo in Karnataka case till Tuesday
  • UP BJP legislator Rajesh [email protected]@@s daughter alleges he sent goons after her for marrying outside the caste
  • CBI raids activists Indira jaising and Anand Grover for alleged violation of FCRA in their NGO
ISRO calls-off Chandrayaan-2 mission launch at last moment due to technical snags. revised date will be announced later
oppn parties
Mamata Broke No New Ground in Bangladesh

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Mamata Banerjee was invited to Bangladesh for the Bhasa Divas. But her visit assumed greater importance because of her opposition to talking about sharing of the Teesta waters with that country. In the past, Banerjee excused herself from visiting the country in a delegation with the then prime minister Manmohan Singh for that reason. Hence, it was natural that she flip-flopped on the issue this time around. Despite her assurance to Bangladeshi intelligentsia that she would take up “all contentious bilateral issues” with the Bangladesh PM, her meeting with the latter proved to be a damp squib as she maintained her old stand and broke no new gorund.

India’s relation with her eastern neighbour hinges on three main issues: sharing of Teesta waters, the land boundary agreement (LBA) and the exchange of enclaves (EOE), apart from the more serious but largely unsaid issue of continued exodus of people from Bangladesh to India. If Mamata thinks that she can dictate foreign policy, she is sadly mistaken. The government at the Centre is the sole authority in this regard. Of course, any decision the NDA government will take will obviously be taken after due consideration to the possible harm it can cause to the people of Bengal. But this does not mean that some amount of give and take cannot be indulged in to improve relations with a neighbour.

While Mamata seems to have softened her stand on the LBA and EOE, Teesta remains a thorny issue for her. The government should take steps to exchange enclaves. It is decidedly harmful to have another country’s people residing in our national territory. Similarly, the LBA should be inked without delay. After that, the question of illegal immigrants should be taken up. These immigrants are skewing the demography of many states, especially Assam, West Bengal and Tripura. In Assam, their presence has given rise to many ethnic and religious clashes. The Central government should also sit down with its WB counterpart to find ways to arrive at an equitable distribution of Teesta waters.

Mamata should understand that there are international covenants on sharing of river waters. Any decision will need to be arrived at by following those covenants. Of course, since resources are limited, any such decision will have to ensure that minimum loss occurs to the state while some of Bangladeshi concerns are addressed.