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Sep 05, 2011 at 08:44pm IST

Centre bows to Mamata, Teesta deal uncertain

Kolkata: The Prime Minister's Bangladesh visit seems to have run into troubled waters with West Bengal Chief Minster Mamta Banerjee backing out of it. She is said to be upset with final draft of the Teesta Water Sharing Agreement.

After she decided to walk out of the visit, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, on Monday, made it clear that no agreement will be signed without the state's consent.

"Anything agreed between India and Bangladesh will have to be acceptable to the state of West Bengal first," said Mathai.

Mamata is reportedly miffed as the Centre has now proposed the sharing of thirty three thousand cusecs of water with Bangladesh in the Teesta water sharing pact, while West Bengal is not willing to concede to more than twenty five thousand cusecs.

Even though Mamata has chosen not to go on the Bangladesh visit, the four Chief Ministers of states bordering Bengal will accompany the Prime Minister.

Mamata's move has invited a lot of criticism from her political rivals.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, "this move by Mamata will send the wrong message."

The controversy has caste a shadow over a visit which is being touted as historic. India and Bangladesh are said to build on the security co-operation extended by the Sheikh Hasina government, alon with improving road and rail links, trading more with and through each other, sharing waters of the river Feni and jointly managing the borders and the Sunderbans.

However, with Mamta telling the Centre that she can't be taken for granted and by making them bow down to her demands, this will be setback to Sheikh Hasina, and may dampen the excitement over the Prime Minister's historic visit.