West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the federal government of India has not communicated with her government about its plan to sign the Teesta River water sharing deal with Bangladesh.
During an interview with the Indian TV channel ABP Ananda on Thursday night, she said: “I came to know from media reports that the deal may be inked on May 25. But I have not been consulted so far.”
Mamata said she did not even have any clue about this.
The Trinamool Congress leader reiterated her position against the deal.
“I love Bangladesh, and I will provide support to the country as far as I can. But I cannot put a seal of approval on the treaty at the cost of my state's interests," the West Bengal chief minister added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit Delhi on April 7-10, and over a dozen agreements are likely to be signed between the two countries at that time.
But the much-awaited Teesta deal may not be one of them as it is still uncertain, officials in Dhaka and Delhi had hinted.
There have been reports that Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who is hosting Hasina during her stay in Delhi, may host chief ministers of five Indian states bordering Bangladesh to resolve outstanding bilateral issues including the Teesta issue.
Asked about reports that the Centre had already invited the chief ministers of five Indian states bordering Bangladesh to join the discussions, Mamata reiterated: “I know nothing, not even an iota, in this regard.”
The Teesta treaty was drafted in 2010 and was supposed to be inked the following year during the visit of India’s then prime minister Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh.
But it did not see the light of day as Mamata refused to come to Dhaka with Manmohan, raising her objection to the treaty at the last leg of the visit.