New Delhi, India (BBN) – The Centre will take all the stakeholders including states “on board” before signing the Teesta water sharing pact with Bangladesh as is done in any treaty with a foreign country, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said Friday.
The remarks by ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay came in response to a query regarding West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s charge that the Centre has yet not taken her into confidence over the possible inking of Teesta river water treaty between India and Bangladesh soon, reports The Economic Times quoting PTI.
Asserting that the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh could only be signed and implemented with the cooperation of all stakeholders, including states, he said that the approach of the government is very federal and the emphasis by the leadership of this government is on cooperative federalism.
On the Teesta issue also, “the government’s approach would be to take everyone on board, and consult…all stakeholders,” Baglay added.
Yesterday, in an interview to a private news channel, Banerjee had said, “I have no knowledge on Teesta discussion. The Centre has not discussed anything with me. I have not received any invitation. I have heard that the Teesta Treaty will be signed on May 25. I have no knowledge. I share good relation with Bangladesh, but I can’t sacrifice the interests of my state.”
The Teesta river water sharing is an emotive issue and comes in prominence every time there is a high-level bilateral visit between India and Bangladesh.
While Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is visiting India from April 7-10, there are reports about Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelling to Bangladesh in May.
The two countries were set to ink the Teesta deal during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 2011 Dhaka visit, but Banerjee had declined to endorse the deal citing scarcity of water in her state.