BNP's Teesta 'long march' Apr 22

BNP’s Teesta ‘long march’ Apr 22


Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is going to organise a ‘long-march’ programme towards the Teesta river on Apr 22.
The party’s acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a media briefing on Wednesday that they would march to Nilphamari’s Jaldhaka Upazila from Dhaka.
He said that they would start from Dhaka at 8am (on Apr 22) and hold a rally at Rangpur 4pm.
The next day the march would continue towards Teesta river, heading for Dalia area of Jhaldhaka Upazila in Nilphamari. The programme ends with a rally there on the banks of Teesta.This appears to be an attempt to whip up public sentiments over dwindling water in the river for farmers in northern Bangladesh.
India and Bangladesh were all set to sign a deal on sharing the waters of Teesta in 2010, but Delhi backed off after strident protests from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerji .
“The water flow in Teesta has decreased drastically. Farmers in the region are concerned whether they would get enough water for this year’s Boro crop,” Mirza Fakhrul said.
“We have organised this Long March to protest the government’s failure to ink the deal for Teesta water sharing.”
He said that the party hopes that the government will co-operate and not oppose the ‘Long March’.
“We hope that the government will give us full cooperation for the long-march and not hinder the programme as it has always done in the past.”
He further said that they expected the march would help the government negotiate with India about Teesta water sharing
Asked whether, such a programme would adversely affect bilateral relation with India which is going through the general elections now, Mirza Fakhrul said : ” We definitely want a good relation with India. But for that we cannot endanger around 30 million people who depend on the Teesta. This is a national issue.
“We believe, the whole country should rise on the Teesta water sharing issue. We need to build a national consensus on this.”
IANS reports from Kolkata: Citing 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”.
Referring 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 planning to give 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 Centre 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 up to 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 concluded 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


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