Mamata Banerjee reached Dhaka on Thursday night, on her first visit to the city as West Bengal Chief Minister. All eyes are on what she might say during her visit on the contentious issue of Teesta water sharing.
"It's a historic visit," Mamata Banerjee said before she left for Dhaka. "I am proud to be invited for the Bhasha Dibash celebrations on February 21."
Bhasha Dibash, or Language Day, honours the movement in erstwhile East Pakistan, demanding the recognition of the Bengali language in the then Pakistan dominion.
Ms Banerjee and a delegation of actors, businessmen and bureaucrats left for Dhaka on Thursday night. They are expected to return on February 22. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called up Ms Banerjee today ahead of her departure.
The West Bengal Chief Minister will meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Two issues - the Land Boundary Agreement and the Teesta water sharing pact - are likely to be discussed.
While she has softened her stand on the Land Boundary Agreement, which involves the swapping of enclaves between the two countries, on the Teesta issue, she refused to elaborate.
In September 2011, Ms Banerjee had pulled out of a delegation to Dhaka led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was expected to make a major announcement on the sharing of the waters of the Teesta. Ms Banerjee insisted that she would not agree to any pact that hurt the interests of West Bengal. She felt the pact Mr Singh was to announce would be detrimental to the people of north Bengal, through which the Teesta passes before entering Bangladesh.
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