New Delhi: The Congress on Monday asked the government to take the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh forward after a Parliamentary committee submitted its report on the issue to both the houses.
Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader and chairman of the Parliamentary standing committee on External Affairs, said the committee tabled the "unanimous" report in both houses of parliament on the 119th Amendment Act, which dealt with the topic.
"I am pleased to inform that the standing committee (on Parliamentary Affairs) has presented unanimous report to the Lok Sabha today on the 119 Amendment Act of the Constitution, which talks about the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. Now, the new government should take it forward.
"There were five meeting sessions with different political parties. There were Congress, BJP and TMC members in the committee, who gave their views on the topic. The secretaries of External Affairs and Home, and a representative of the West Bengal government also made a presentation on the topic," Tharoor said.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government intended to sign the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh as it would serve long-term security interest.
Tharoor also took a dig at the BJP saying while it was in opposition it opposed the agreement and now that is in government, it (BJP) favours the deal with Bangladesh.
The UPA-II government had last December managed to introduce a constitutional amendment bill to facilitate the swap of land enclaves with Bangladesh, amid din and high drama which saw members of Trinamool Congress and Asom Gana Parishad trying to snatch copies of the proposed legislation from the then External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
It was later referred to the Standing Committee.
The Bill amends the First Schedule of the Constitution to give effect to the Indo-Bangla agreement on acquiring and transfer of territories between the two countries on May 16, 1974. The First Schedule of the Constitution defines the area of each state and union territory which together constitute India.
The legislation is aimed at ratifying the LBA between India and Bangladesh under the Indira-Mujib pact of 1974 to exchange areas and people on either side of the border.
India will exchange 111 enclaves measuring 17,160 acres to Bangladesh and receive 51 enclaves covering 7,110 acres. Almost 51,000 people reside in these enclaves.
The territories involved in the exchange are in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura.