Will seek House nod for border pact: PM to Moni

Man

His government would take the India-Bangladesh land border agreement to Parliament for ratification, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured visiting foreign minister Dipu Moni, Friday. Dhaka has been pressing New Delhi to operationalise the pact at the earliest.

Moni also met Arun Jaitley, whose BJP is opposed to the agreement, and informed him how significant it was for the Sheikh Hasina government, which hopes to showcase it as a major achievement to the voters later this year.

"He said he would have discussions within his party. His response was positive on the border agreement and on the Teesta water sharing treaty," Moni said after the meeting. "Sometimes, domestic political compulsions make us not miss out on the larger picture. That is what I urged, and he understood. He said he will talk to his party."

Moni's meeting with Jaitley was Dhaka's first attempt to directly reach out to the main opposition party to persuade it to ratify the border agreement, which was signed during Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in September 2011.

The prime minister, meanwhile, also assured Moni that India would do "nothing inimical to Bangladesh's interests" as far as water resources were concerned, sources said.

"He also suggested that Bangladesh join as a stakeholder in the Tipaimukh project," a source said.

On the sharing of the Teesta, Singh told Moni that his government was working to build a national consensus a reference to attempts to get West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on board the proposed treaty.

The two leaders recognised the cooperation in the power sector and noted that Bangladesh would be getting 500 MW electricity from India by September 2013. They also noted that India's $1 billion line of credit to Dhaka was flowing in a "satisfactory manner".

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