Saturday, September 10, 2011

Didi again

I now gather that Banerjee’s objection to the Teesta deal was not over the release of 50 per cent of the water to Bangladesh. It was due to the clause which put a 25 per cent cap on discharge, which would have been harmful to North Bengal’s interests in the dry season. In fact, the draft treaty was submitted to Trinamool Congress’s Dinesh Trivedi just two hours before the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs met. Trivedi refused to be intimidated into accepting the draft in its existing form despite Pranab Mukherjee’s stern reprimand.

In contrast, the Congress government in Assam went along blindly with the Centre’s treaty and now finds it difficult to explain to the people of the state why such large tracts of land were handed over to its neighbour.

Incidentally, Banerjee who has an excellent personal relationship with Sheikh Hasina, sent an emissary to the Bangladesh Prime Minister to make clear that she would be willing to agree to the fifty per cent sharing of river water, once the other clause had been re-worked. No doubt, at that stage Banerjee will pay a delayed visit to Bangladesh to personally capitalise on the treaty.

IMO: Well, that's all right then ! (Though not for Assam). Perhaps shows the general value of coalitions, though they have not quite worked it out in the UK.

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