TMC to take call on Bangla boundary pact Bill today
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The Rajya Sabha members of the Trinamool Congress have been called for a meeting by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday to decide the stand the party will take on crucial issues during the winter session of Parliament beginning Thursday.
Among other businesses, the UPA government is likely to table a Bill related to the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh in Rajya Sabha, so that it
remains alive in the new parliament after the general elections.
Trinamool Congress is likely to oppose the LBA, which envisages exchange of 161 enclaves adversely held by India and Bangladesh in each other's territories and alterations of boundaries between the two countries in some places.
The party claims that the exchange of enclaves, most of which are located in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal, will lead to state losing nearly 10,000 acres of land to Bangladesh.
The other cause for worry, for the cash-strapped West Bengal government, is the financial burden that it would have to face if large number of people switch over to the Indian side during the actual handover.
The state government is not willing to bear any such burden and may only settle for a massive compensation package from the central government, according to top government sources.
Political parties and leaders of the India-Bangladesh enclave exchange committees have argued that the loss of land is "notional" as neither Bangladesh and nor India can use these enclaves for administrative purposes. As of now, the nearly 55,000 population staying in both the Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves are stateless.
However, the UPA government's parliament floor managers are hoping to convince Mamata Banerjee and other opponents to not block a consensus on the Bill's introduction in parliament. They want to hammer the point that the Bill is being tabled just to keep the issue alive for the next session and does not mean actual implementation of the international accord.
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