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Mamata To Be Part Of Indo-Bangla Ties During Hasina's Visit

Prime Minister Hasina would be in Delhi from April 7 to 10, her first state visit in seven years, and would be putting up at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Sougata Mukhopadhyay | CNN-News18

Updated:April 5, 2017, 11:38 PM IST
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Mamata To Be Part Of Indo-Bangla Ties During Hasina's Visit
Mamata Banerjee likely to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 7.

Putting an end to speculations over her presence in New Delhi during Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to India, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has confirmed her attendance at the President’s dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 8 April which would be hosted in honour of the guest.

Banerjee is also likely to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart over lunch on the same day, sources at her office in Bengal secretariat Nabanna confirmed. Banerjee is currently touring several central and south Bengal districts for administrative work and is planning to reach Delhi on the evening of 7 April after completing her tour.

Prime Minister Hasina would be in Delhi from April 7 to 10, her first state visit in seven years, and would be putting up at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. As many as 33 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed between the two countries during her stay over issues ranging from military ties and civil nuclear research to trade, transportation and power supply.

But all eyes would be focused on how the Bengal chief minister handles the contentious issue of sharing of Teesta water which has been left in the limbo since 2011. While the Modi government is keen to ink the deal, Banerjee’s well known resistance to the issue is based on her apprehensions that the treaty could spell doom for large parts of Bengal. Only recently Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy delivered an impassioned speech at the Lok Sabha accusing the Centre of attempting to bypass the Bengal government to clinch the deal.

Banerjee, it bears recall, made a last minute walk out of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s entourage to Bangladesh in 2011 when the deal was supposed to be signed. She, however, later visited Dhaka in 2015 and bore witness to the historic land boundary agreement for exchange of enclaves between the two countries. Known to have maintained cordial ties with Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Banerjee had reportedly assured Hasina of playing a “positive role” in resolving the outstanding Teesta issue in the interest of both sides.

This current visit to India is likely to be Hasina’s last before the elections in Bangladesh and stakes are high for both sides. While an unresolved Teesta water issue could hurt the incumbent’s credibility among her people, it is the role of Mamata Banerjee which could prove to be the game changer in the booming bilateral ties between the two nations.

| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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