New Delhi: As Parliament passed a “landmark” bill to settle the 41-year-old border issue with Bangladesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today thanked leaders of all Opposition parties for their support and said a “historic milestone” has been reached in India-Bangla ties.
He also spoke to chief ministers of bordering states—West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee, Assam's Tarun Gogoi, Tripura's Manik Sarkar, Meghalaya's Mukul Sangma and Mizoram's Lalthanhawla—to thank them for support to the Land Boundary Bill that provides for exchange of territories with Bangladesh.
Modi also talked to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to apprise her of the “landmark” development. In the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister walked up to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her party's Leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge and thanked them for support after the bill was unanimously approved in the House. All the 331 members present in Lok Sabha voted in favour of the bill in rare unanimity, a day after it was passed by Rajya Sabha.
Soon after, Modi called up leaders of Opposition parties, like AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, BSP supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, BJD leader Naveen Patnaik and JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav to thank them.
“My thanks to all the political parties for their cooperation, as also to the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura & West Bengal,” Modi tweeted later. “This reflects the collective will of the nation to build constructive relations with our neighbours,” he added. He said he also spoke to Hasina and “conveyed my greetings to the people of Bangladesh on this landmark occasion”.
He said passage of the bill ensures a permanent settlement of land boundary with Bangladesh and resolution of long-pending boundary issues.
“Today a historic milestone has been reached in India-Bangladesh relations after the passing of the Constitutional Amendment by Parliament,” Modi added. “This would contribute to a stable &peaceful boundary, better management & coordination of the border &will lead to enhanced security as well,” the Prime Minister said.