Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mamata now opposes enclave exchange

After the Teesta water-sharing issue, Paschimbanga chief minister Mamata Banerjee has taken stance against a Dhaka-Delhi agreement to resolve the long-pending issue of exchanging enclaves held in adverse possessions, reports Indian newspaper Anandabazar Patrika.

The Indian parliament is yet to ratify the landmark agreement, signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka in September last year, on enclave exchange largely due to the absence of a consensus on the issue, the newspaper said quoting official sources.

Efforts are now on to secure Mamata’s consent on the agreement on exchange of enclaves that would help bring down the curtains on a major irritant that has been there in India-Bangladesh ties since 1974, our New Delhi correspondent reports.

Just prior to the Indian PM’s arrival in Dhaka on September 6, Mamata Banerjee took stand against the Teesta water-sharing deal which was almost set to be signed during Manmohan’s visit.
Manmohan had to backtrack from translating the long cherished dream into reality, putting a strain in the bilateral relations. 

The opposition of Mamata-led Trinamool Congress, a key ally of India’s ruling UPA coalition government, would further create frustration to people living on both sides of the border as the Indira-Mujib accord on the issue had remained unimplemented all these decades.

Since Mamata’s objections prevented the signing of Teesta river water-sharing accord in September last, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not willing to go ahead with the ratification of the deal on exchange of enclaves without a consensus, Anandabazar Patrika said in the front-page report.

Main opposition BJP too has opposed the agreement signed by the two countries on exchange of enclaves.
The agreement on exchange of enclaves stipulates that the people residing in the enclaves would have the option to choose either India or Bangladeshi nationalities as per their will.

Opposing this, BJP said along with exchange of enclaves, there should be exchange of population irrespective of the wishes of the people residing there, the daily said. Given all this, India is proceeding cautiously on the exchange of enclaves, the report added.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed Indian External Affairs Ministry official saying, “We are optimistic. We are committed to an international treaty. We will get around the small stumbling blocks and take the next step.”