September 5th, 2011
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Banerjee refuses to go to Bangladesh

mamata-banerjeeKolkatta: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has refused to accompany the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his two day visit to Bangladesh. “I am not going,” Banerjee said.

Mamata Banerjee is believed to be upset about the revised Teesta water sharing treaty the two countries are about to sign, as she feels the agreement is against the interests of West Bengal. As per the new deal far more water will be conceded to Bangladesh than what was agreed by Banerjee earlier.

Since most of the border and water settlements that India and Bangladesh are preparing to resolve impacts West Bengal directly, it is important that the state’s chief minister is taken into confidence before striking a deal with Dhaka.The Centre’s move to go ahead with treaties with Bangladesh without consulting the West Bengal Government has irked chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee said she did not want the “deal to harm her states interest in any way”. Agitations against the treaty have already started in the north Bengal districts of West Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar.

Banerjee and chief ministers of four other states—Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya–bordering Bangladesh were scheduled to accompany the Prime Minister on his visit starting September six. Banerjee was to go to Dhaka directly from Kolkata instead of joining the PM’s delegation in Delhi.

“We will be disappointed if she does not come as she is a great friend of Bangladesh and she has a great following in this country and is a close friend of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s foreign affairs adviser Gawher Rizvi said.





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