Indo-Bangla enclaves swapping: Mamata govt agrees with Centre

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Kolkata, Dec 3: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government of West Bengal has decided to withdraw his objection to the land-swapping deal between India and Bangladesh.

According to a report published in leading Bengali daily Anandabazaar Patrika on Wednesday, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra informed the home ministry last week that the state government wants to settle the enclave issue which is being dragged for over six decades now.

Indo-Bangla enclaves: Mamata agrees

However, the state government wants the Centre to take up the issue of developing the land area that will be added to West Bengal, in terms of administration and infrastructure, the report said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee might announce the new stand of her government at a rally in Cooch Behar on Thursday. The venue of the chief minister's rally is very close to the Bangladeshi enclave, which suggests that the reports about her making a big announcement tomorrow could be true. Banerjee might hasten the procedure of rehabilitating the enclave dwellers on Wednesday, said the report.

Banerjee had hinted at her party's changing role on the enclave issue before the Lok Sabha election in March. When the draft of the land boundary agreement was made during a parliamentary panel meeting last week, the representatives of the TMC agreed to it.

Electoral stakes had compelled Mamata Banerjee to oppose the exchange in past

The new stand of the TMC is a marked departure from what it had spoken earlier on the issue. Mamata Banerjee had stalled talks between India and Bangaldesh over the sharing of the Teesta River water and also pulled out of the Bangladesh-bound entourage of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, causing immense embarrassment to New Delhi.

The protocol that was signed between New Delhi and Dhaka in 2011 could not be ratified in Parliament. In September 2013, when the then UPA government tried to table the Bill in Rajya Sabha, it was torn off by the protesting TMC MPs.

It was said that the swapping of the enclaves would put Banerjee's key vote-bank of minorities under threat.

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