Mamata relents on Teesta deal, LBA

"You give us water, we will give you hilsa," Bangladesh PM tells West Bengal CM

Updated - November 26, 2021 10:25 pm IST

Published - February 21, 2015 03:13 pm IST - Dhaka

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Saturday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Saturday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has told Bangladesh that breakthroughs will be achieved in the Teesta water-sharing deal and the Land Boundary Agreement, which have been hanging fire since she blocked them four years ago.

Meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exclusively for half an hour at the end of her three-day visit here on Saturday, Ms. Banerjee said the Land Boundary Agreement was likely to go through in the Rajya Sabha session beginning February-end.

Ms. Banerjee, who was served hilsa for lunch at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Ganabhaban, said the famed fish was now unavailable in West Bengal. “You give us water, we will give you hilsa,” Ms. Hasina quipped.

The Prime Minister reminded her of the problems being faced by the people living in the enclaves, referring to the delay in the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement. Ms. Banerjee said she had seen their problems.

In 2011, she stalled the two deals on the ground that West Bengal’s interests would be affected. The Bangladeshi leadership hopes Ms. Banerjee’s visit will pave the way for a solution.

On Friday, addressing a gathering in Dhaka, she asked the Bangladeshis to repose faith in her to deliver a settlement to the Teesta issue. She said she wanted to act as “a bridge” between the two countries. The Chief Minister visited Dhaka with 39 people, mostly from West Bengal’s cultural fraternity and including two Ministers and big businessmen.

Before visiting Ms. Hasina’s residence, Ms. Banerjee paid tributes to the Bengali language martyrs by placing a wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka.

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