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Dhaka to monitor Indian parliament session for LBA

  • Published at 02:28 am August 5th, 2013

The Bangladesh government will closely monitor the upcoming session of the Indian parliament for the tabling of a constitution amendment bill, which is needed to ratify a nearly 40-year-old land boundary agreement (LBA) between the two neighbours.

A Bangladesh foreign ministry official Saturday said the Indian government had assured Dhaka that it would try to place the bill in the monsoon session of the Indian parliament, which starts today.

It might be the last opportunity for the incumbent Indian government to place the bill, as national elections are expected to be held there early next year, the official said.

Bangladesh has been busy drumming up support in India for ratification of the LBA, while the Indian government is also trying to get a positive outcome before the end of its tenure.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni visited New Delhi last month and met with senior Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and BJP leader Arun Jaitly, to garner their support for the amendment bill.

The Indian ruling party leaders assured Dipu Moni that New Delhi was committed to ratifying the LBA, but it needed internal consensus.

The bill was supposed to be tabled in the last budget session, but Salman Khurshid failed to introduce it in the face of strong resistance from the opposition.

The Awami League-led government has been trying to develop stronger ties with India since returning to power in January 2009. But so far, it has failed to get two coveted prizes a Teesta water sharing-agreement and ratification of the LBA, which was signed in 1974.

Dhaka and New Delhi were supposed to sign the Teesta agreement during a visit by the Indian prime minister in 2011, but failed to do so due to strong opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.