Mamata snubs PM, skips visit to Dhaka
The Centre`s move to go ahead with Teesta water treaty with Bangladesh without consulting the West Bengal government has irked chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
New Delhi: In yet another embarrassment to the ruling UPA government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has refused to accompany Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during his upcoming visit to Bangladesh on September 6-7.
Reports, Monday, claimed that the Trinamool Congress chief is unhappy with the Teesta water sharing accord, which the two countries are due to sign during the Prime Minister’s visit.
Clearly, the Centre`s move to go ahead with treaties with Bangladesh without consulting the West Bengal government has irked chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The West Bengal chief Minister believes that the Teesta water sharing will go against the interests of West Bengal.
Mamta has reportedly opposed the agreement on the grounds that there was a difference in the quantity of water sharing according to the draft and the final versions of the Teesta treaty.
According to party sources, the Chief Minister feels that Bangladesh will get far more water after the accord comes into effect than she had agreed to.
Meanwhile, demonstrations and protest against the Teesta water sharing accord have already started in the north Bengal districts of West Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar.
Mamta has apparent reasons to be upset as most of the border and water settlements that India and Bangladesh are preparing to resolve, involves West Bengal directly, so her party is of the view that state`s Chief Minister should have been taken into confidence while striking a deal with Dhaka.
Earlier, when the Ganga water treaty was signed with Bangladesh, the then chief minister Jyoti Basu was consulted while working out the details.
Banerjee had expressed her displeasure over the accord by saying that the Centre went ahead with treaties with Bangladesh without consulting her even as the state is the most affected when it comes to border and water issues between the two neighbours.
At a CCPA meeting last week to discuss Bangladesh, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had raised the issue, after which the Centre deputed National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon to Kolkata to update Banerjee of the treaties that were being worked out.
And it was decided that she would join the PM in Dhaka for his two-day trip that is expected to resolve some longstanding issues between the two countries.