Published:  12:00 AM, 19 March 2017

Hasina-Mamata to meet on Teesta issue

Hasina-Mamata to meet on Teesta issue Photo: Collected.

The Indian government is planning to bring together the chief ministers of states bordering Bangladesh to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Teesta River water sharing issue, reports

Delhi wants a direct discussion between Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to break the ice with top most priority.

Since PM Hasina will be staying at Indian Rastrapati Bhavan, the Hasina-Mamata meeting may be held under the stewardship of Pranab Mukherjee supported by the foreign ministry and the water resources ministry officials from both countries.

An Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has high respect for President Pranab Mukherjee's "knowledge of India-Bangladesh issues" and it was his proposal to get the Bengali elder statesman to take the lead to resolve the Teesta issue.

The Indian president's good personal rapport with both Hasina and Mamata is seen as an added advantage.

Trinamool Congress sources say Mamata will surely meet the Bangladesh prime minister in Delhi, if she is invited.

"Our grouse has been that Delhi has not properly consulted us before they drafted the Teesta agreement in 2010. If we are consulted and our views are given due importance, why should we not seek a settlement," seeking anonymity a top Trinamool leader said.

When Hasina visited Delhi over six years ago, Mamata had met her and addressed her as 'elder sister’.

Modi's idea of bringing chief ministers of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram to Delhi alongside Mamata Banerjee is also designed to create the necessary push for the resolution.

It takes a leaf out of his predecessor Manmohan Singh's book because Singh had taken the chief ministers of these states to Dhaka in 2010. Mamata backed out in the last minute, opposing the Teesta deal.

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