New Delhi: Time is “running out” for the ratification of India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement by Parliament, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today ahead of talks with Trinamool Congress to bring it on board on the issue.
The Trinamool Congress is opposed to the bill and had scuttled its introduction in the Rajya Sabha on August 19 after which a three-member committee was formed by the party to discuss the issue with the government.
“We are still working on it. The Trinamool Congress has formed a committee to talk to us. I know the time is running out but I hope to have a more detailed discussion over the weekend,” he told reporters here.
The Minister was asked if the bill will be introduced again in Parliament as the Monsoon session has been extended by one more week.
Khurshid is expected to persuade them to support the legislation which is considered crucial for ties between the two countries.
After the bill's introduction was scuttled, Khurshid is learnt to have talked to Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee over phone where it was decided that he will have a meeting with Trinamool leaders Mukul Roy, Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien.
O'Brien had said that considering the federal structure of India, the Centre cannot take any decision without the “consent” of states.
“It is not vanilla ice-cream, it is precious land of the country that is at stake,” he had emphasised while justifying Trinamool's opposition to the bill.
The bill provides for exchange of certain territories between India and Bangladesh and demarcation of the border as per the Indira-Mujib Agreement of 1974.