Water issue to remain basis of good relations: Indian minister

Dhaka,  Wed,  20 September 2017
Published : 15 Apr 2017, 18:27:46

Water issue to remain basis of good relations: Indian minister

Indian Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti has said India will not spoil its relations with Bangladesh over water and the water is going to remain the basis of good relations between the two countries.

“We won't let politics spoil our relations,” India Today quoted Uma Bharti as saying in an oblique reference to Teesta water-sharing issue between Bangladesh and India, reports UNB.

The Indian Minister who was visiting West Bengal to meet BJP workers as part of the party's massive outreach programme in the state, interacted with journalists in Howrah on Friday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in presence of his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, acknowledged that Teesta is important for Bangladesh-India relationship.

 “I firmly believe it’s only my government and (Excellency) Sheikh Hasina, your government, that can and will find an early solution to Teesta Water Sharing,” Modi said assuring Hasina and the people of Bangladesh of their commitment and continuing efforts.

Keeping line with the Prime Minister, Uma Bharti on Friday said the Centre (Indian central government) was hopeful of an amicable solution to the pending Teesta water-sharing accord.

At a time when the Teesta accord between Bangladesh and India is pending due to the opposition of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the union minister said efforts were on to bring Banerjee on board.

 “We are discussing all aspects of the Teesta accord. We are consulting all stakeholders, including the West Bengal government. We believe we can solve this through dialogue,” she said.

When asked about whether the Centre was mulling the proposal to put water in the concurrent list, Bharti said there may have been such talks but one must look to solve the Teesta tangle taking into account the current reality.

 “Yes, there have been some suggestions. Several MPs have raised the issue in Parliament that water should be brought into the concurrent list, but the current reality is that it's in the state list and we have to find a solution on that basis,” Bharti was quoted as saying.
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