Dinhata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today picked on border enclaves and Teesta water-sharing during her Lok Sabha election campaign in Cooch Behar district, which shared a border with Bangladesh.
Ms Banerjee told an election rally that her government would take a view on the enclaves issue after ascertaining the wishes of the people residing in adversely possessed areas.
In 2011, Ms Banerjee, then an ally of the Congress-led UPA government, had backed out from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh opposing the Teesta water-sharing treaty between India and the neighbour. (Full coverage: India Votes 2014)
Touching on Teesta water-sharing and defending her stand on the issue, Ms Banerjee said "Why did I speak out on Teesta (water sharing)? Now you are seeing that Teesta has dried. Situation has been made such that in the coming days drinking water will not be available."
She said that a state government was in office which should be informed and consulted.
"I love 'chitmahal' (people living in the enclaves).
"But I give justice. But I do not do anything unilaterally without thinking of the people," she said.
Accusing the local BJP of trying to rake up the enclaves issue to gain votes, she said that the previous Left Front government had not done anything either, but her government was undertaking survey and census. (India Votes 2014: Candidates / Schedule)
She said "There is one from BJP here who could not be seen throughout the year. But when election comes rakes up the enclave issue and tries to divide the people of Coochbehar and Bangladesh to reap benefit in votes."
Ms Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chairperson, had expressed strong reservations over the introduction last December of the Land Boundary Agreement Bill in the Rajya Sabha which envisaged exchange of about 161 enclaves adversely held by India and Bangladesh.