“During Modi's last term, we were able to solve many bilateral issues. We hope that he will continue to work towards solving all other disputes—including that of sharing Teesta's water.”
Top brass of the ruling Awami League hopes that the dispute between India and Bangladesh over sharing the Teesta river waters will be resolved soon, as Narendra Modi has come to power again.
The ruling party also hopes that a high-level meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC) will be held very soon. The last meeting of the JRC was held in 2010 but did not result in an amicable solution to the dispute.
While speaking at a press briefing held at the Awami League president's political office in Dhanmondi yesterday, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said he hoped that all disputes between Bangladesh and India would be resolved under the renewed leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He added: “During Modi's last term, we were able to solve many bilateral issues. We hope that he will continue to work towards solving all other disputes—including that of sharing Teesta's water.”
Quader, also the Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, mentioned that Modi had contributed to solving long-standing border disputes in his last term as prime minister, including the enclave dispute in 2015.
Awami League presidium member and spokesperson of the 14-party alliance, Mohammad Nasim, also hoped that the disputes between Bangladesh and India would be solved under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Modi.
“There is a strong friendship between Bangladesh and India, and under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi; it will continue,” Nasim added.
In 2011 an interim deal that was supposed to last for 15 years, gave India 42.5% and Bangladesh 37.5% of Teesta river's water.
During Modi’s last term, the issue was discussed several times between both countries but the deal could not be inked due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
But this year, BJP won 18 crucial seats in West Bengal while Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) secured 22 seats. In the previous term, the TMC had won 34 seats while the BJP had won only two.
This time, Awami League leaders hope that BJP will work as pressure group and convince Mamata Banerjee to agree with Modi over the Teesta agreement.
According to a 2013 report by the Asian Foundation, Bangladesh's flood plain covers about 14% of the total cropped area of the country and provides direct livelihood opportunities to approximately 73% of its population.
Previously in 1972, the JRC has been established by India and Bangladesh in the Indo-Bangla Treaty of Friendship.