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Mamata row clouds PM's Bangladesh visit

Mamata row clouds PM's Bangladesh visit

Prime Minister Manmohan singh will leave for Dhaka without Mamata Banerjee.

New Delhi: The much anticipated first Prime Ministerial visit to Bangladesh in 12 years has literally run into troubled waters even before the visit began.

Even after the government promised they won't go ahead with the Teesta River pact, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stays adamant, refusing to be a part of the delegation.

It's not an auspicious start to the first prime ministerial visit to dhaka in 12 years. Mamta Banerjee's unhappiness over the Teesta water sharing pact has meant the Manmohan Singh will not be able to showcase it as one of the highlights of his State visit.

The Teesta river which had been a source of tension between India and Bangladesh

is now a source of embarrassment for dr singh

After she decided to walk out of the visit, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, on Monday, made it clear that no agreement will be signed without the state's consent.

"Anything agreed between India and Bangladesh will have to be acceptable to the state of West Bengal first," said Mathai.

The Teesta water sharing pact won't be signed in Dhaka because Mamata Banerjee - an ally of the congress at the Centre and in West Bengal is miffed at the water sharing formula.

Mamata is reportedly miffed as the Centre has now proposed the sharing of thirty three thousand cusecs of water with Bangladesh in the Teesta water sharing pact, while West Bengal is not willing to concede to more than twenty five thousand cusecs.

Even though Mamata has chosen not to go on the Bangladesh visit, the four Chief Ministers of states bordering Bengal will accompany the Prime Minister.

Mamata's move has invited a lot of criticism from her political rivals.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, "this move by Mamata will send the wrong message."

The controversy has caste a shadow over a visit which is being touted as historic. India and Bangladesh are said to build on the security co-operation extended by the Sheikh Hasina government, alon with improving road and rail links, trading more with and through each other, sharing waters of the river Feni and jointly managing the borders and the Sunderbans.

However, with Mamta telling the Centre that she can't be taken for granted and by making them bow down to her demands, this will be setback to Sheikh Hasina, and may dampen the excitement over the Prime Minister's historic visit.

first published:September 06, 2011, 09:36 IST