BJP chief wants Bangla boundary issue resolved, his party is cautious

FP

While BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday indicated that he favoured the resolution of land boundary disputes with Bangladesh, his party appeared cautious about endorsing the constitution amendment Bill, given strong opposition in the border states of Assam and West Bengal.

At the Idea Exchange programme at The Indian Express, Singh said: "I would want that the Government of India should try to put a sweetener... to try to compensate for the deal. But the boundary dispute should get resolved. We want that this should be resolved. We will try our best, there is no opposition from our side," Singh said.

Hours later, the party brass meeting at BJP parliamentary party chairman L K Advani's residence, appeared not to agree. The meeting was learnt to have decided to take a "cautious" line in view of the "strong sentiments" against the move in Bengal and Assam.

Leaders from the BJP's units in these states were learnt to have given a "very substantive briefing" to the meeting. Sources said some Sangh Parivar members too attended.

The sources said there was no categorical opposition to the move, but there was a view that the issue was over two decades old, and did not need to be rushed through without proper scrutiny.

The agreement involves India handing over 111 land enclaves to Bangaldesh in exchange for 51 enclaves from Dhaka. India would have to let go of over 17,000 acres of territory in exchange for a little over 7,000 acres. The move requires a constitutional amendment, which can't be passed without BJP support.

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