Has some reservations over proposed pact on sharing of Teesta river water

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his September 6-7 Bangladesh visit. This has been communicated to the Prime Minister's Office, it was learnt here on Sunday.

Ms. Banerjee has some reservations over the agreement that is to be signed between the two countries over the sharing of the Teesta river water during Dr. Singh's visit.

The Chief Minister's reported stand is that the proposed agreement, with its water-sharing ratio, goes against the interests of West Bengal.

Upset with final draft

She is apparently upset with the final draft of the treaty which, according to her, is at variance with the one she was earlier informed of.

Ms. Banerjee, along with the Chief Ministers of four other States that share a common border with Bangladesh, was to have accompanied the Prime Minister.

The question now is how the PMO will respond to her decision and whether or not there will be a last-minute change of mind on her part.

If she sticks to her decision not to be part of the Prime Minister's entourage it could put the Indian delegation into a somewhat awkward position.

Ms. Banerjee shares a cordial relation with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

When Ms. Banerjee swept the April-May Assembly elections, Ms. Hasina was quick to congratulate her on the win.

Ms. Banerjee reportedly expressed her views on the proposed agreement on the sharing of the Teesta water at a meeting with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon here on August 31.

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