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Assam to be delinked from land swap Bill

By KALYAN BAROOAH

NEW DELHI, April 30 � It is official, the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh will be truncated and Assam will be de-linked from the Constitution Amendment Bill that is now scheduled to be taken up for passage next week.

In what has come as a big relief for State BJP, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj this morning formally conveyed to State Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that the Union Cabinet yesterday considered the matter and decided to de-link Assam from the LBA.

Meanwhile, the Congress party is likely to queer the pitch as it has decided to oppose the new amended Bill. AICC spokesman and Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi said that Congress prefers the original Bill as it had taken care of the security concerns, border management and other related issues. With the Congress opposing, the new amended Bill is likely to fall through in Rajya Sabha.

Sonowal, later briefing newsmen, hailed the move stating that the Modi government has taken the initiative keeping in mind the fact that the LBA has become an emotional issue for the people of Assam and it wishes to respect the feelings of the people.

Sonowal told this newspaper that the Bill would be taken up albeit after de-linking Assam from the LBA. �The Centre did not do it under pressure, but out of the commitment to respect the people�s wish,� he claimed.

Ever since the LBA was passed, the BJP had adopted an aggressive tone in opposing the deal, but it had to suddenly tone down its action and started keeping a low profile. Some of the BJP State leaders were told that India was committed to ratify the LBA. And with the Assembly elections due next year, the State BJP started distancing itself from the issue.

Meanwhile, Union Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told newsmen on Wednesday that the Bill is listed for passage in Rajya Sabha next week, but he added in the same breath that the LBA (119th Constitution Amendment Bill) is not on the priority list of Bills of the government.

According to government sources, the Bill, if passed by Rajya Sabha, is likely to be tabled on May 7 in Lok Sabha before the House adjourns on May 8.

However, the Centre�s move has created more confusion, because the original LBA was vetted and cleared by the Standing Committee attached to the Ministry of External Affairs for passage in Rajya Sabha. Furthermore, the Bangladesh government has rejected the move by India to delink Assam from the deal.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam told newsmen in Dhaka on April 16 that Bangladesh was not informed of any such development. �The LBA is a settled issue and all the minor details were agreed upon between Bangladesh and India.

�We have been assured by the Indian government that the LBA will be ratified in the Indian Parliament soon and we are waiting for that,� the State Minister was quoted as having said.

It has also been mentioned in the agreement that India cannot make any change unilaterally without consulting Dhaka.

A PTI report claimed that New Delhi is believed to have conveyed to Dhaka the issue of keeping Assam out of the LBA and the neighbouring country is understood to be open to considering such an adjustment if India feels that this is the only way to seal the deal, a showpiece in India-Bangladesh relations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may visit Bangladesh in June and operationalise the LBA if it is ratified by Parliament, the report added.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Assam to be delinked from land swap Bill

NEW DELHI, April 30 � It is official, the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh will be truncated and Assam will be de-linked from the Constitution Amendment Bill that is now scheduled to be taken up for passage next week.

In what has come as a big relief for State BJP, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj this morning formally conveyed to State Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that the Union Cabinet yesterday considered the matter and decided to de-link Assam from the LBA.

Meanwhile, the Congress party is likely to queer the pitch as it has decided to oppose the new amended Bill. AICC spokesman and Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi said that Congress prefers the original Bill as it had taken care of the security concerns, border management and other related issues. With the Congress opposing, the new amended Bill is likely to fall through in Rajya Sabha.

Sonowal, later briefing newsmen, hailed the move stating that the Modi government has taken the initiative keeping in mind the fact that the LBA has become an emotional issue for the people of Assam and it wishes to respect the feelings of the people.

Sonowal told this newspaper that the Bill would be taken up albeit after de-linking Assam from the LBA. �The Centre did not do it under pressure, but out of the commitment to respect the people�s wish,� he claimed.

Ever since the LBA was passed, the BJP had adopted an aggressive tone in opposing the deal, but it had to suddenly tone down its action and started keeping a low profile. Some of the BJP State leaders were told that India was committed to ratify the LBA. And with the Assembly elections due next year, the State BJP started distancing itself from the issue.

Meanwhile, Union Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told newsmen on Wednesday that the Bill is listed for passage in Rajya Sabha next week, but he added in the same breath that the LBA (119th Constitution Amendment Bill) is not on the priority list of Bills of the government.

According to government sources, the Bill, if passed by Rajya Sabha, is likely to be tabled on May 7 in Lok Sabha before the House adjourns on May 8.

However, the Centre�s move has created more confusion, because the original LBA was vetted and cleared by the Standing Committee attached to the Ministry of External Affairs for passage in Rajya Sabha. Furthermore, the Bangladesh government has rejected the move by India to delink Assam from the deal.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam told newsmen in Dhaka on April 16 that Bangladesh was not informed of any such development. �The LBA is a settled issue and all the minor details were agreed upon between Bangladesh and India.

�We have been assured by the Indian government that the LBA will be ratified in the Indian Parliament soon and we are waiting for that,� the State Minister was quoted as having said.

It has also been mentioned in the agreement that India cannot make any change unilaterally without consulting Dhaka.

A PTI report claimed that New Delhi is believed to have conveyed to Dhaka the issue of keeping Assam out of the LBA and the neighbouring country is understood to be open to considering such an adjustment if India feels that this is the only way to seal the deal, a showpiece in India-Bangladesh relations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may visit Bangladesh in June and operationalise the LBA if it is ratified by Parliament, the report added.

Similar Posts

— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)