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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

World

Mamata steers clear as Hasina upbeat on Teesta
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Tin bigha, October 19, 2011
First Published: 22:54 IST(19/10/2011)
Last Updated: 23:56 IST(19/10/2011)

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed on Wednesday made light of the turmoil over the aborted Teesta waters-sharing agreement even as there was no representative of the West Bengal government to receive her at Tinbigha.

She was on a visit to Dahagram-Angorpota, one of the 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in the Tinbigha corridor, 600 km to the north of Kolkata.

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and minister of state for home Jitendra Singh represented the Centre on the occasion.

"If the relationship (between India and Bangladesh) remains cordial, everything will be sorted out," said Wajed, when asked about the issue.

The aborted deal, which envisaged sharing the Teesta waters in the 52:48 ratio (the greater part being India's), became an embarrassment for New Delhi.

In September West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee refused to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka. She was
reportedly miffed over the changes in the proposed treaty without keeping her informed.

The occasion of Wajed's visit was to "celebrate" the opening of the corridor (an area of about 43,200 square feet), connecting it with Bangladesh round the clock from September 8.

Earlier the corridor remained open for 12 hours a day.

Wajed, however, thanked Banerjee, apart from Manmohan Singh, for throwing open the corridor, enabling the enclave residents, who are Bangladeshis, to move in and out of Bangladesh.

When asked why Banerjee or any of her representatives were not present to welcome Wajed, Azad said, "Please don't drag politics here. Both the representatives of the Indian government and Bangladesh government are present."

"The Congress and Banerjee have very good and cordial relations and we are together on all national and international issues," Azad said.

The United Progressive Alliance has chalked out an eight-month programme to resolve the Teesta logjam by taking Banerjee on board.

According to the new plan, the UPA's political managers want to send Banerjee to Dhaka on Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary in May 2012 and seal the Teesta deal.


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