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Dhaka Tribune

Mamata in city as LBA documents set to be exchanged

Update : 05 Jun 2015, 08:44 PM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived yesterday night mainly to witness the exchange of documents on Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) ratification between Bangladesh and India.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam received Mamata at Shahjalal International Airport on her arrival by an Air India flight around 8:45pm.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj saran was also present.

Though it was initially believed that Mamata would come with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she arrived separately and will even stay in a separate hotel – Hotel Radisson – indicating that Mamata is not yet on the same boat with Modi regarding the Teesta deal.

Mamata, who had been in Bangladesh in February this year, had urged Bangladesh during her stay here to ‘keep confidence’ in her about the signing of the much-sought Teesta Water sharing deal between the two countries.

However, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has recently made it clear that the Teesta water-sharing agreement will not happen during Modi’s Bangladesh visit.

Asked whether Mamata’s plan to visit Bangladesh separately indicates any negative notion, International Relations expert Prof Imtiaz Ahmed told UNB recently that if Mamata stays in Dhaka during Modi’s visit that is “good enough.” “Her decision to come separately may be linked to her preoccupation at home. She may show she’s not like other chief ministers,” he added.

Prof Imtiaz said Modi and Mamata are now in better terms, and there have been basic changes in their ties over the last few weeks, indicating a political compromise. “So, I don’t see any political problem and I’m hopeful there may be some surprises that may even include Teesta.” 

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