Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her "extremely unfortunate" stance against the Teesta water sharing deal, but expressed optimism on resolving the issue through dialogue.
"It was extremely unfortunate, the chief minister of an Indian state, Mamata Banerjee raised objection (in signing the deal)... it was very unfortunate. We saw the central government of India was sincere in inking the agreement," Hasina told officials of Water Resources Ministry at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
Hasina, however, added she was optimistic about the deal saying "we hope we could solve the problem through discussion". This is the first time that Hasina has sharply come down on Banerjee, categorically putting the blame on her for the setback in the deal.
Her comments came four days after water resource minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said Bangladesh awaited resolution of the long pending water sharing issue of the Teesta and other common rivers after the Indian election.
The deal was scheduled to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh in 2011, but deal has to be shelved as Banerjee had objected to the proposed quantum of waters, saying it would harm her state.
She also scrapped her Dhaka tour accompanying Singh at that time. The Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusec from 5,000 cusec every year.