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BNP hails LBA ratification by Parliament

Bangladesh ex-premier and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders for the Indian parliament’s ratification of a historic bill to settle the 41-year-old border issue between the two countries.

“Today (Thursday) is an important day in our national life as after a long time, the Land Boundary Agreement was passed in the Indian parliament,” said Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s international affairs secretary and spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon.

He said “on behalf of BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, I thank Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Indian premier Manmohan Singh, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for passing the constitution amendment bill to operationalise the LBA.”

The Lower House, showing rare unanimity, passed the Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill to allow the operationalisation of the 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s father and the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The bill will allow operationalisation of the 1974 Indo-Bangla deal and its protocol in 2011, paving the way for exchange of territories in Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya.

India will get 510 acres while Bangladesh will get 10,000 acres. Bangladeshi enclaves have around 14 thousand residents while Indian enclaves are home to 37,000.

Prime Minister Hasina in a statement on Thursday called the development a “new milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two countries”.

Mr. Modi on Thursday called Ms. Hasina to greet Bangladeshis and a spokesman of her office told PTI that during the conversation the Indian premier told her “the agreement signed by your father has been passed during your tenure today”.

Welcoming the LBA ratification, the mass circulation Samokal newspaper carried a front page banner headline titled “The colourful page of the history”, while the Daily Star headline read “Dream comes true” for enclave people.

The Bangladesh media also carried reports about Modi’s expected maiden Dhaka visit by early next month.

The ratification of LBA in Indian parliament is the second major development in bilateral relations after the long pending issue of maritime boundary was resolved in an international arbitration in The Hague last year while Dhaka now awaits inking of an deal over the share of waters in the common Teesta river.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 6:39:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bangladesh-nationalist-party-hails-lba-ratification-by-indian-parliament/article7184892.ece

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