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India-Bangladesh terror network: What if a hostile govt comes to power in Dhaka?

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National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday about links between the recent blast in Khagragarh in Burdwan and terror modules based in Bangladesh.

Banerjee assured Doval that her government would not compromise on the issue of national security and steps would be taken to deal with any such threat. She also said that her government did not have any information about the alleged links between one of her parliamentarians and anti-government forces in Bangladesh.

How much significance does CM Mamata Banerjee's assurance holds?

What the chief minister told the NSA, who is known to be a man of business, was nice to hear but how much responsible has been her government in safeguarding the national security? According to one report, officers investigating the Burdwan blast found several consignments of bombs were moved from Bengal to Bangladesh to destabilise the government there in the last two years. [Read full article here]

What was the state government, which is not ready to compromise with the national security, doing then? Chief Minister Banerjee always raises her finger towards the former Left government whenever something wrong goes in her state, the latest being the Saradha chit fund scam. Does she intend to hold the Left responsible for the strengthening terror network in Bengal as well?

Did New Delhi act feebly because of coalition compulsion all these years?

Banerjee perhaps didn't realise that with a majority government led by a party that has a tilt towards cultural nationalism coming to power in New Delhi, the issue of national security is unlikely to be overlooked any more. In the past, a government led by a centrist party and weakened by compulsion of coalition politics failed to take strong calls on issues related to Bangladesh and the border with it.

Banerjee, by the sheer weight of her party's substantial presence in the ruling coalition in New Delhi in the past, intervened in a key dealing like sharing of the Teesta river water with Dhaka.

Former NSA MK Narayanan was made the governor of West Bengal but could New Delhi utilise his intelligence expertise all these years?

The compulsion of the coalition politics was so much so that even after the appointment of MK Narayanan, a former NSA as the governor of West Bengal, the Centre failed to take the state administration in confidence to deal with the constant threat that emanated from Bangladesh.

Narayanan was more busy dealing with govt of mercurial Mamata; politics dominated the scene

Narayanan was seen more busy in the daily dealings with Banerjee's government, softly or sternly, but the issue of threatening borders with Bangladesh had never come up as the primary topic of discussion between New Delhi and Kolkata. Divisive party politics became more important than things which are far more crucial for the nation's interests.

India had been accusing some of its neighbours of harbouring anti-India elements: Now what's New Delhi's explanation to the world?

The Bengal government's overlooking the terror activities going on under its nose until the blast occurred in Burdwan on October 1 is also bound to leave a major impact on India's foreign policy standing. New Delhi has, time and again, said on the international stage about some of its neighbours harbouring anti-India elements on their soils.

New Delhi is fortunate that pro-India Awami League is in power in Dhaka at the moment; it has more access to reports hence

After the Burdwan blast took place, Bangladesh will also be in a similar position to flex its muscles visi-a-vis India. It is one thing that Dhaka currently has the government of the Awami League, a party which is known to be pro-India. If there is a change in the guard and anti-India forces like the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies come to power, New Delhi will have a war on two fronts, both at home and abroad.

A growing distance between New Delhi and Kolkata is certainly going to affect the relation between India and Bangladesh and put the security of the former under question.

India can't allow cultural affinity between West Bengal and Bangladesh cloud its Bangladesh policy any more, a more tough stand is required in managing borders that are largely porous

Linguistic similarity has underestimated the crucial border issue between India and Bangladesh to our own peril all these years. Since West Bengal and Bangladesh are no longer parts of the same administrative unit, the factors of geographical similarity and cultural affinity can't be allowed to influence India's security policy vis-a-vis that country.

Popular contacts are healthy for Track-II diplomacy but we need to have a strong Track-I policy in the first place.

Mercurial local politicians like Mamata Banerjee can't be allowed to decide on the issue of nation's security as per her whims conditioned by narrow vote-bank politics. The Centre has its best chance now to settle the Bangladesh problem for once and all because it has a majority government in place. Hope, it emerges successful in this very very important mission. Or else, the country will have to pay a heavy price.

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