The much-awaited Teesta river water sharing agreement remained in limbo even as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wrapped up her India visit on Monday with hopes of signing the pact at the “soonest.” Earlier, addressing a civic reception held for her by think tank India Foundation, Hasina rejected Mamata Banerjee’s proposal for sharing rivers other than the Teesta. She also asserted that India-Bangladesh ties will undergo a “transformation” if the Teesta water sharing agreement is concluded.
The unresolved issue of the Teesta River was high on the agenda. Although the neighboring countries have yet to reach a consensus on the long-pending matter of sharing water from the river, Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to come to an agreement soon.
“We strongly believe our common water resources must act as a uniting force. A comprehensive basin-wide solution with in-built solution to water sharing of all common rivers holds the key to our common future,” Hasina said during her speech in the event hosted by New Delhi-based advocacy group.
The Teesta deal was originally to be signed during then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011, but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by Banerjee.
Speaking on her interaction with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banjerjee on the issue, the visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister said: “But I do not know what Didi (Mamata) would do. In my talks with her she gave a new twist, but Modiji has assured that we are here to look after it.
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“We had asked for water but she is giving us electricity. At least we got something,” she said in a lighter note.
“I assure you and the people of Bangladesh of our commitment and continuing efforts. I firmly believe that it is only my government and your government that can and will find an early solution to Teesta water sharing,” Modi told Hasina.