Bangla land pact: TMC to oppose Bill

The Trinamool Congress will oppose the introduction of Bill on Indo-Bangla Land Boundary Agreement Bill, which is set to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament beginning Thursday, party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy said Tuesday.

"We are appalled. How can they introduce the Bill without consulting the state government, which has got an enormous stake in the issue. We will oppose it tooth and nail," Roy said after a meeting of the TMC Parliamentary Board at Nabanna, the relocated state secretariat in Howrah.

The meeting, convened to discuss the party's strategy in the winter Parliament session, was presided over by party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

A party MP who attended the meeting said the party wants wider consultations as the issue involves handing over of large tracts of land to the neighbouring country.

Earlier, in a Facebook post Mamata had said: "The state government had mentioned to National Security Advisor and previous and present Ministers of External Affairs, the need for obtaining consent from the people residing in the areas that are to be transferred...West Bengal will get only about 7,000 acres but will have to cede nearly 17,000 acres to Bangladesh."

The LBA envisages exchange of 161 enclaves adversely held by India and Bangladesh in each other's territories and alterations in boundaries at some places.

The TMC will also oppose the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill.

"The Bill hits at the federal structure of the country. They should consider withdrawing it," Kalyan Banerjee, Lok Sabha MP, said after the meeting.

Dissident MP Somen Mitra and suspended party MPs Kabir Suman and Kunal Ghosh were not present at the meeting. Ghosh is currently lodged in jail in connection with Saradha Group chit fund scam. Another MP Srinjoy Bose could not attend the meet as he was not in town.

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