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BJP has reservations about Bill on LBA with Bangladesh: Swaraj

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 19:19

New Delhi: Government efforts to bring a constitution amendment Bill on the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh in the winter session of Parliament is likely to hit a roadblock with BJP still having strong reservations about the legislation.

Asked about BJP`s view on the reported move of the government, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said that "there was no discussion with us by the government on this issue."

On whether the main opposition will allow the government to introduce the Bill in the Rajya Sabha so that it remains alive even after general elections, she said the party will discuss the matter in a meeting of BJP`s Parliamentary Party executive and later with NDA floor leaders on December 4.

Government plans to bring a Bill on the issue in the winter session of Parliament starting on December 5.

BJP sources said the party still continues to nurture serious reservations on the issue, especially with general elections just months away.

The main Opposition also maintains government will have to explain how it can alter the country`s boundary as after 1973 verdict of the Supreme Court in the Keshavanand Bharti case the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be changed. This includes the definition of the country`s boundary, it said.

Party sources said it is likely to prevent passage of the proposed legislation.

Being a Constitutional Bill, it cannot be cleared without BJP`s support as it will require the nod of two-thirds of those members present and voting and a minimum of 50 per cent of the members being present in both Houses.

Top BJP leaders denied the party had given any assurance or reached any understanding with Bangladesh during recent meetings of its Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on the exchange of enclaves.

BJP`s Assam unit and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a prospective NDA ally, are strongly opposed to giving away territory to Bangladesh.

The LBA envisages exchange of 161 enclaves adversely held by India and Bangladesh in each other`s territories and alterations of boundaries between the two countries in some places.

First Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 19:19

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