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Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi, says ‘unilateral discussions with Bangladesh unacceptable’

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has expressed her disapproval of the recent talks between India and Bangladesh regarding water sharing between the two nations. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Banerjee expressed her discontent at not being invited to the session.

Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi says unilateral discussions with Bangladesh unacceptable gcw
First Published Jun 24, 2024, 7:52 PM IST

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday slammed the Centre for failing to extend an invitation to her to participate in the negotiations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina. She raised objections to the talks on water sharing between the Centre and Bangladesh.

CM Banerjee emphasised that Dhaka and Kolkata have a tight relationship, saying that "such unilateral deliberations and discussions without consultation and the opinion of the state government are neither acceptable nor desirable."

In the letter, Banerjee wrote: "I came to understand that the Government of India is in the process of renewing the India-Bangladesh Farakka Treaty (1996) which is to expire in 2026. It is a treaty which delineates of sharing of water between. Bangladesh and India and as you are aware it, has huge implications for the people of West Bengal."

"However, water is very precious and is the lifeline of the people. We cannot compromise on such a sensitive issue which has severe and adverse implication on the people," she added.

According to Banerjee, "the state of West Bengal has cooperated with Bangladesh on several issues in the past," including the bus services, railway line, and exchange of India-Bangladesh enclaves

During their recent bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Modi and and his Bangladesh counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, talked on the preservation and management of the Teesta River as well as the reaffirmation of the Ganga Water Treaty from 1996.

Following the meeting, PM Modi addressed the media and said that a technical team will be visiting Bangladesh shortly to talk about "conservation and management of the Teesta River." The agreement states that in order to manage and preserve Teesta water, India would construct a sizable reservoir and associated infrastructure.

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