Kolkata, April 12: Citing the land boundary agreement and the proposed Teesta water sharing pact with Bangladesh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday accused the central government of trying to deprive the state’s northern parts of drinking water and asked the people to teach it a lesson.
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress chief, also hit out at the central government of trying to impose its decisions without public consent.
Addressing election rallies in north Bengal, she referred to the development work done by her government in the region and trained her guns on the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for “having the blood of riots on their hands”.
Refering to the yet-to-be-inked Teesta water sharing deal between the two neighbours, Banerjee said” “Teesta has dried up. There is acute drinking water problem. Yet, the Centre was giving away Teesta water.
“The centre wanted to deprive people of North Bengal of drinking water by giving away Teesta water,” she said, urging the people to “teach a lesson” to the central government “through ballots”.
“The arrogance of the ventre has to be broken,” she said at rallies in Dinhata of Coochbehar district and Jalpaiguri of Jalpaiguri district.
On the land boundary agreement, under which 162 adversely held enclaves are to be exchanged between the two countries, Banerjee said: “We cannot impose decisions on people. It is upto the public to decide the fate of Chhitmahal (enclaves).”
Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party, she said it only talked of enclaves “and other divisive issues” during elections.
The Teesta water sharing pact has been put on hold after the Trinamool’s strong opposition, which has expressed fears that the treaty could spell disaster for north Bengal.
In September 2011, Banerjee had embarrassed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by pulling out of a delegation led by him to Bangladesh over the water sharing agreement, forcing India to drop it from the agenda.
The Banerjee government has also opposed any move to hand over to the neighbouring nation 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh in exchange for 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India. The Banerjee regime has argued that West Bengal would lose more land than it would get from Bangladesh.
The Land Boundary Agreement between the two nations was signed in 1974, while the neighbours cocluded an enabling pact in 2011 during the prime minister’s trip to Dhaka. The central government had tabled the treaty for its ratification by parliament twice, but on both occasions the BJP, Trinamool and the Asom Gana Parishad thwarted the legislation.