After the Trinamool’s exit from the ruling UPA coalition, elements within the government are clamouring for a speedy resolution to the long-pending Teesta water-sharing pact and the land border agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh.
In a move that may also irk another key UPA ally — the DMK— Union minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday expressed his concern over regional parties’ attempt to hijack foreign policy matters.
“Regional parties have acquired a dangerously disproportionate role in foreign policy matters — be it in southern or eastern India,” Ramesh said.
“The Teesta water treaty has to be signed. It would be a colossal tragedy for India if we are unable to deliver on Teesta and the land border agreement,” he added.
Many in the government also feel that regional parties’ disproportionate intervention is becoming a hindrance in the government’s vital foreign policy initiatives.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s reservations about sharing Teesta water with Bangladesh had resulted in a major diplomatic embarrassment, taking the sheen off Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s otherwise historic Dhaka tour. Banerjee’s continued opposition prevented New Delhi from inking both the pacts — Teesta agreement and LBA— with Bangladesh.
She had also refused to accompany the PM.
With the AIADMK getting equally combative on the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka, the UPA’s second largest ally DMK is also upping the ante.
Driven by its domestic compulsion, the DMK has been pressuring the government on every major bilateral issue with Sri Lanka.
At times, the party also raised problems faced by Tamil fishermen and India’s aid in training Sri Lankan military personnel, putting the government in a spot of bother.