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Modi, Hasina discuss bilateral issues

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb 13 � Ahead of the ensuing Union Budget Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave positive signals to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina regarding early resolution of pending issues between the two countries.

Modi today called Hasina and bade her best wishes for the Bangladeshi team in the Cricket World Cup 2015. The Prime Minister has also announced that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has been directed to visit all the SAARC nations, on what was described as �SAARC Yatra�.

Modi also spoke to the heads of three other countries which are also taking part in the biggest cricketing competition of the world.

In Dhaka, Prime Minister Office (PMO) officials told newsmen that the two Prime Ministers spoke about other bilateral issues, apart from cricket. The Indian Prime Minister reportedly assured Hasina that Bangladesh can expect some �good news� soon from India.

In Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, �Every opportunity should be used, and yes, they did talk about other issues. I will not go into those details about what was discussed and what was not, because those are privy communication. My job is to give you the drift of the discussion.�

The supposed �good news� the Prime Minister was referring to was probably the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, which is pending passage in Rajya Sabha because ratification of the Teesta Water Sharing agreement is facing fierce opposition from the West Bengal government.

In the last session of Parliament, though the Constitution Amendment Bill was listed for passage, however, the government could not bring it, as the Opposition had stalled the proceedings of the House.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, vetted and cleared by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, is likely to be brought for passage during the ensuing Budget Session of the Parliament. The Bill enjoys the support of the Opposition Congress party, during whose term the LBA was signed.

Sources confirmed that the Bill is facing tremendous opposition from Assam BJP. The State BJP has suggested to the Central leadership that the Bill may be brought in for passage after the Assembly polls in Assam in 2016, a senior BJP leader confided.

Meanwhile, Modi tweeted: �Spoke to President @ashrafghani, PM Sheikh Hasina, PM Nawaz Sharif and President Sirisena. Conveyed my best wishes for the Cricket World Cup,� Modi said.

He said, �Five SAARC nations are playing and are excited about the World Cup. Am sure WC will celebrate sportsman spirit and will be a treat for sports lovers.�

Modi said, �Cricket connects people in our region and promotes goodwill. Hope players from SAARC region play with passion and bring laurels to the region.�

Modi also added that he would send his new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to other South Asian countries soon to bolster bilateral relationship. �Would be sending our new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on a SAARC Yatra soon to further strengthen our ties,� the Prime Minister said.

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