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Bangladesh - World wide - 4 weeks ago

No immediate solution over Teesta water deal

Mamata expressed her displeasure

Asifiqbal Thakoor, Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the swearing-in ceremony on June 9 as Narendra Modi was elected as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive term. She then left for Delhi on a two-day visit on Friday (June 21) for the second time to discuss bilateral issues.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi held a meeting on Saturday morning. Subsequently, 10 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) including 7 new and 3 renewed ones were signed in the meeting between the delegations of the two countries.
A joint announcement was made by the two countries at around 12 noon on that day. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the resumption of joint river commission talks between the two countries on Teesta water distribution.
In response to this, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her displeasure at the central government’s resumption of talks without consulting her.
On Monday (June 24), an Indian television channel reported Mamata Banerjee’s displeasure, quoting a Trinamool Congress source.
Quoting sources in the news, Mamata Banerjee said that there is no ‘issue’ with Bangladesh. Instead, he gave a warm welcome to Sheikh Hasina when she came to Delhi.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed her displeasure over the Teesta water sharing agreement but expressed her positive attitude towards the introduction of medical e-visa with India.
It should be noted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit China on July 8. China has also expressed interest in financing the Teesta Dam project. The media of Bangladesh mentioned that this matter has also been discussed with Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, on Sunday (June 23), Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, there was a discussion on how to manage the common river between the two countries.
The foreign minister said the delegation-level talks covered many issues of bilateral interest, including joint management of 54 common rivers, water sharing, connectivity, trade, security, border management, introduction of quota for Bangladesh on import of essential commodities from India, speedy treatment for Bangladeshis and development of partnership.
He said, there are 54 identical rivers between Bangladesh and India. The issue of joint river management for the rivers has gained importance in the discussion at the representative level.
The foreign minister said joint river management is important as it can help us deal with the adverse effects of climate change.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing “strong reservation” over the Centre excluding the state government from discussions with Bangladesh regarding Teesta water sharing and the Farakka Treaty.
Banerjee also urged the PM to not hold any such discussion with the neighbouring country without involving the West Bengal government.
“I am writing this letter in context of the recent visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh. It seems that water sharing issues relating to the Ganges and Teesta rivers may have been discussed during the meeting. Such unilateral deliberations and discussions without consultation and the opinion of the state government is neither acceptable nor desirable,” she said in a three-page letter to Modi.
Bengal has a very close relationship with Bangladesh – geographically, culturally and economically, she noted.
“I love and respect people of Bangladesh and always wish for their well-being… I convey my strong reservation that no discussion on sharing of Teesta water and the Farakka Treaty should be taken up with Bangladesh without the involvement of the state government. The interest of people in West Bengal is paramount, which should not be compromised at any cost,” Banerjee said.

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