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Bangladesh FM to seek BJP help for clearing land agreement with India

CNN-IBN
Jul 26, 2013 at 10:32am IST

New Delhi: Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who is visiting India will meet BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Friday to try and convince the BJP to help clear the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh. The BJP claims that the government is ceding too much territory to Bangladesh.

The Land Agreement is expected to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon Session. "We have not just initiated the process but we have reached a conclusion also, now the formalisation within India is needed," Dipu Moni said.

"I am very hopeful that the way things have been evolving over the past few years, we will see fruition. We have all, on both sides, worked very hard, and I believe that at this juncture, everyone, regardless of the parties, will be able to see the larger picture and act accordingly," Moni said when asked if she was hopeful of Parliament sanctioning the Agreement for an additional protocol was signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in 2011.

Stating that both countries are working in the same "spirit that we had worked together in 1971", she hoped when "people will vote, they will take into account our initiative, our efforts, and the fact that we have come so far. It will happen".

The agreement can only be implemented after a constitution amendment Bill is passed by Parliament as it involves exchange of territories. The bill needs to be passed by a majority in each House of no less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.

The agreement, an emotive domestic issue for Bangladesh, envisages transfer of 111 enclaves with a total area of 17,160.63 acres to that country while there will be transfer of 51 enclaves with an area of 7,110.02 acres to India. While on the face of it, India does seem to be losing some territory, officials here maintained that the government has in fact only converted a de-facto reality into a de-jure situation as these enclaves are located deep inside the two countries with little physical access to these by both.

(With additional information from PTI)

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