Kolkata, India (BBN)-Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will represent India when they meet at Dhaka on June 6 to renew an international agreement with Bangladesh.
Mamata had agreed to accompany the PM when they last met at Kolkata on May 10, reports The Times of India.
The Bengal CM had been to Dhaka in February this year on the invitation of the Bangladesh government. This time she will be accompanying Modi.
“The CM will accompany the PM on his two-day visit next month. We hope it will strengthen relations between the two countries,” said parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee.
The announcement has raised hopes on the Bangladesh side as the Shiekh Hasina government expects India to sign the historic Land Boundary Agreement and the Teesta Water Treaty this time.
It’s quite a departure from three years ago when Mamata opted out of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka delegation in 2012 in opposition to the Teesta treaty.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done his homework for the Dhaka trip.
Parliament has passed the Constitution amendment bill seeking to settle India’s 41-year-old border issue with Bangladesh.
The bill will operationalise the 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement that provides for outright exchange of 161 enclaves held by the two countries.
The Centre is also working out a rehabilitation package for enclave dwellers willing to come to India.
Mamata Banerjee’s party lent its support to the Bill after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj gave a specific assurance on rehabilitation in Parliament.
However, Mamata is still guarded on the proposed Teesta water sharing agreement.
Partha Chatterjee refused to comment on the treaty. “I do not know about it. I hope the CM won’t come in the way of the treaty as long as the proposed agreement doesn’t affect the interests of Bengal,” Chatterjee said.