After CNN IBN's Smita Sharma reported that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is backing out of a border agreement with Bangladesh that she had initially supported, the Trinamool Congress chief issued a statement on the party's official Facebook page clarifying her stand. Following is the full text of Banerjee's statement:
"A letter regarding the proposed Demarcation of Land Boundary between India and Bangladesh has been leaked to the media by the Government of India recently.
There has been many developments and after detailed examination, I discussed the issue several times with the Ministers of External Affairs during the last two years.
It is indeed difficult to accept the present proposal of giving away land to Bangladesh without agreement from the state government.
The case of Teesta Water Agreement may be recalled where, during the draft stage, the Government of India had said something, but proposed something totally different in the final stage. Like this, in the Land Boundary Agreement, State Government had mentioned to the National Security Advisor and the previous and present Ministers of External Affairs, the need for obtaining consent from the people residing in the areas that are to be transferred.
It must be noted that our state of West Bengal will get only about 7000 acres of land but will have to recede nearly 17,000 acres of land to Bangladesh.
This cannot be accepted without taking into confidence and consent of the local people who live in the transferable areas. What is the hurry of the Central Government to give away our land and our water without the consent of the state government? What type of politics the Central Government is trying to play?
Recently, they have disturbed the peaceful situation in Darjeeling. Earlier also, they gave away land from Assam and Tripura to the concerned country. The interests of the states cannot be compromised this way. We strongly urge that the Central Government must follow the established federal norms of the country in the interest of overall well being of the country and its people.
Though we maintain friendship and good relations with Bangladesh, but it should not be at the cost of the people of West Bengal."