Mamata muddies Teesta water deal
Uncertainty hovers over the Teesta water-sharing pact as Mamata Banerjee opted out of the Prime Minister's Bangladesh visit of September 6-7, reportedly as a mark of protest against the terms of the agreement. HT reports.delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2011 01:54 IST
Uncertainty hovers over the Teesta water-sharing pact as West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee opted out of the Prime Minister's Bangladesh visit of September 6 and 7, reportedly as a mark of protest against the terms of the agreement.
Even as efforts are still on to get a recalcitrant chief minister on board, senior government sources said Banerjee was upset over the way she was "walked through the process" than with the actual contours of the agreement.
Foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said, "We have been trying to arrive at an agreement on the Teesta pact which is acceptable to all parties. Nothing is done or will be done without consultations with the state government."
"It's all about her (Banerjee's perceptions, and her political compulsions. As of now, we are hopeful of signing the pact. Efforts are on for that," said a senior government official.
Though there was no word from the Trinamool Congress chief, one of her top aides said, "She is not going to Bangladesh."
Her political exigencies in north Bengal - through which the Teesta flows from Sikkim into Bangladesh - is the reason behind her opposition to the agreement.
According to sources, the PM has so far not spoken to Mamata after she opted out of the Dhaka trip.
Congress sources said rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who met Mamata last Saturday, tried to play the peacemaker, but she refused to budge.
When the PM visited Kolkata recently, he asked Mamata to sit in his car on the way to the IIM-Calcutta.
During the journey, Singh explained to her the significance of the tour - the first official visit by an Indian PM to Bangladesh in 12 years - and requested her to travel with him to Dhaka.