India withholds LBA bill amid protestStaff Correspondent
The Asom Gana Parishad and the Trinamool Congress on Monday scuttled a move in the Rajya Sabha for introduction of a bill which provides for exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh, Indian media reported.
As soon as external affairs minister Salman Khurshid rose to introduce Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013, Birendra Prasad Baishya (AGP) trooped into the well holding two placards. He was supported by Trinamool members, the Hindu newspaper reported quoting Press Trust of India.
They caused uproar by opposing the bill which was intended to give effect to the acquiring of territories by India and transfer of certain territories to Bangladesh in pursuance of the land boundary deal and its protocol singed by the two countries.
Because of the din, Khurshid could not move the bill for introduction and deputy chairman PJ Kurien adjourned the house for 10 minutes at 2:00pm.
After the house resumed, Kurien said the bill would be taken up sometime later and wanted to take up another listed business.
Bharatya Janata Party members also objected to the introduction of the bill which was finally deferred.
India has kept pending ratification of the land boundary agreement signed on May 16, 1974, halting the process of border demarcation and exchange of enclaves till date although Bangladesh ratified the treaty on November 27, 1974.
India and Bangladesh have a common boundary of 4,096.7 kilometers.
Dhaka is concerned about the fate of the land boundary agreement as there is no positive sign for the passage of a constitutional amendment bill in the Indian parliament, according to officials.
Officials in Dhaka are in doubts if the bill could be passed in the current session that would end on August 30 with a host of other bills waiting to be placed in Rajya Sabha.
The Indian constitution needs to be amended because the LBA stipulates an exchange of territories.
Neither of the governments can get access to the enclaves along the border surrounded by the territory of the other state. The people living there have no national identity and they cannot travel to their home state without crossing the international border.
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