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Land swap Bill to be tabled in RS today

By KALYAN BAROOAH

NEW DELHI, May 5 � Putting its formal seal of approval, the Union Cabinet today cleared the tabling of the Bill on the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh in to-to in the Rajya Sabha.

The Constitution 119th Amendment Bill on land boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh will now be brought in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday for passage. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Two crucial developments took place during the day. First came the Cabinet decision and then the Business Advisory Committee meeting, that finalised the timing.

Official sources clarified that the Bill, cleared by the Cabinet today is the same Bill that was introduced by the then UPA government in the Parliament. The Bill was placed in the Rajya Sabha in 2013 and subsequently referred to a select committee, headed by Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, which unanimously recommended implementation of the deal.

As reported, the Modi government, with an eye on the Assembly election in Assam next year, had decided to de-link Assam from the deal. Subsequently, following stiff opposition from the Congress party it decided to reverse its decision to drop Assam from the LBA.

Under the pact, India and Bangladesh will exchange several enclaves which are under each other�s adverse possession. The agreement will have to be ratified by the Parliament through a Constitution Amendment Bill.

According to sources, the Business Advisory Committee has allotted three hours for discussion and passage of the Bill tomorrow. The government plans to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday for discussion and passage, said sources.

As reported, the BJP central leaders conveyed to the State leaders that the NDA government was forced to reverse its decision to keep out Assam from the LBA because it did not have the numbers in Rajya Sabha and the Congress party had refused to dilute its opposition to the NDA�s revised Bill.

At the meeting attended by the State BJP leaders and chaired by BJP national president Amit Shah, they were told of the sudden reversal of stand by the Centre in the face the Congress party�s opposition. The State leaders were told that smaller and regional parties were willing to support the government in the Rajya Sabha, but the Congress refused to budge.

According to sources, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s letter to the Prime Minister last week rattled the Centre, forcing the Modi government to re-work on its strategy. It has been learnt that at the meeting last evening, Gogoi�s letter was discussed and the BJP leaders criticised the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has confirmed that it has written to the chief ministers of Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal to expedite the land acquisition process for pending border fencing and setting up of border outposts (BOPs) to address the issue of infiltration from Bangladesh.

The chief ministers have been requested to review the matter personally and resolve the issues so that the pending border infrastructure works are completed at the earliest, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said in a Lok Sabha reply to a question by Gaurav Gogoi.

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Land swap Bill to be tabled in RS today

NEW DELHI, May 5 � Putting its formal seal of approval, the Union Cabinet today cleared the tabling of the Bill on the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh in to-to in the Rajya Sabha.

The Constitution 119th Amendment Bill on land boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh will now be brought in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday for passage. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Two crucial developments took place during the day. First came the Cabinet decision and then the Business Advisory Committee meeting, that finalised the timing.

Official sources clarified that the Bill, cleared by the Cabinet today is the same Bill that was introduced by the then UPA government in the Parliament. The Bill was placed in the Rajya Sabha in 2013 and subsequently referred to a select committee, headed by Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, which unanimously recommended implementation of the deal.

As reported, the Modi government, with an eye on the Assembly election in Assam next year, had decided to de-link Assam from the deal. Subsequently, following stiff opposition from the Congress party it decided to reverse its decision to drop Assam from the LBA.

Under the pact, India and Bangladesh will exchange several enclaves which are under each other�s adverse possession. The agreement will have to be ratified by the Parliament through a Constitution Amendment Bill.

According to sources, the Business Advisory Committee has allotted three hours for discussion and passage of the Bill tomorrow. The government plans to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday for discussion and passage, said sources.

As reported, the BJP central leaders conveyed to the State leaders that the NDA government was forced to reverse its decision to keep out Assam from the LBA because it did not have the numbers in Rajya Sabha and the Congress party had refused to dilute its opposition to the NDA�s revised Bill.

At the meeting attended by the State BJP leaders and chaired by BJP national president Amit Shah, they were told of the sudden reversal of stand by the Centre in the face the Congress party�s opposition. The State leaders were told that smaller and regional parties were willing to support the government in the Rajya Sabha, but the Congress refused to budge.

According to sources, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s letter to the Prime Minister last week rattled the Centre, forcing the Modi government to re-work on its strategy. It has been learnt that at the meeting last evening, Gogoi�s letter was discussed and the BJP leaders criticised the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has confirmed that it has written to the chief ministers of Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal to expedite the land acquisition process for pending border fencing and setting up of border outposts (BOPs) to address the issue of infiltration from Bangladesh.

The chief ministers have been requested to review the matter personally and resolve the issues so that the pending border infrastructure works are completed at the earliest, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said in a Lok Sabha reply to a question by Gaurav Gogoi.