LBA issues solved, will take up Teesta with Bangla PM, says Mamata Banerjee

Dhaka, Feb 20: Keen to respond to Bangladesh's "expectations" from West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she has "solved" problems related to the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement and asked this country to trust her on the Teesta water-sharing issue.

"Have trust on me on the Teesta issue...I will have talks on the matter with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," she said here at a luncheon meeting with litterateurs and cultural figures at a hotel.

LBA issues solved, will take up Teesta with Bangla PM, says Mamata Banerjee.
"I am a small person, down to earth...from my side, I have solved the LBA problem...have trust on me on the Teesta issue too," Banerjee said. "We (India) have problems, you have problems as well. I will talk to Hasinadi. Leave the (Teesta) issue to us. Don't worry about it," she said.

Banerjee arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit, her first to Bangladesh since assuming office as the West Bengal Chief Minister in 2011, and will hold talks with top Bangladeshi leadership to boost ties.

Banerjee said she was keen to respond to Bangladesh's "expectations" from West Bengal. She proposed a series of steps to cement the cultural bond between her state and Bangladesh, including the construction of a "Bangabandhu Bhaban", a building to be named after the country's founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"Political geography has divided us, but there is no division in our two minds," she said during her interaction with litterateurs and cultural figures.

"Tell me all your expectations...we will respond to them in due time," she said. On her arrival in Dhaka last night, she had said, "It appears I have come to my own country". Mamata said she carried with her the love for Bangladesh from Kolkata.

Banarjee is set to meet Hasina alongside President Abdul Hamid tomorrow. She will also meet Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali on whose invitation she had come to Bangladesh. Ali will also host a high tea in her honour.

Bangladeshis welcomed Banerjee yesterday expecting her visit to expedite settlement of crucial pending matters like the Teesta issue and ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement since West Bengal has a major stake in the issues.

Bangladesh and India were set to ink the Teesta Agreement during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit in 2011 but Mamata precluded herself from his entourage at the last minute opposing the treaty.

The Teesta deal was shelved as Mamata had objected to the proposed quantum of waters, saying it would harm her state.


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