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After stalling Teesta deal, Mamata's party now opposes Ganges treaty renewal with Bangladesh

The criticism by the TMC comes a day after talks were held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on a range of issues including the treaty.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 17:54 IST

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Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Sunday protested against the move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to start negotiations with Dhaka for the renewal of the 1996 agreement between India and Bangladesh for the sharing of water of the Ganges.

The TMC, which is in power in West Bengal, alleged that the Centre did not consult the state government before going ahead to start the negotiations for the renewal of the agreement between India and Bangladesh.

The party is likely to take up the matter in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, arguing that the Centre must consult the state governments before moving ahead and starting negotiations with Dhaka for the renewal of the treaty.

The TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had in 2011 stalled a move by the then Congress-led government in New Delhi to ink an agreement with Dhaka for the sharing of water of Teesta, another common river that flows from India to Bangladesh.

Modi had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh in New Delhi on Saturday. The two sides agreed on the formation of a Joint Technical Committee to initiate discussions for the renewal of the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty of 1996.

The treaty signed on December 12, 1996, has a validity of 30 years but had a provision for both sides to renew it after negotiations.

New Delhi and Dhaka have more than two years to negotiate for the renewal of the treaty.

The 1996 agreement stipulated a formula for the sharing of water of the Ganges between upper riparian India and lower riparian Bangladesh at Farakka Barrage, a barrage built in the 1970s across Bhagirathi, one the headstreams of the transboundary river system, near the India-Bangladesh border.

Banerjee had in September 2011 opted out of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s entourage to Bangladesh, protesting against New Delhi’s bid to strike a deal with Dhaka for sharing water of Teesta. She had argued that the farmers of West Bengal depend much on the water of Teesta and the deal would hit them hard. Her protest had stalled the signing of the agreement.

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Published 23 June 2024, 13:27 IST

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