Centre to decide on Bangla land swap Bill
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The Centre is proposing to seek Cabinet approval on Wednesday for a constitutional amendment Bill that will allow swapping of land adversely possessed between India and Bangladesh as a follow-up of the protocol signed with Dhaka last year even though the legislation is unlikely to pass muster in Parliament because of opposition by the BJP.
The Bill seeks to resolve the 65-year-old border dispute with Bangladesh in which tiny enclaves or "chit mahals" have existed on either side of the border where its residents have been rendered stateless. It seeks parliamentary approval for the September 2011 initiative by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visited Dhaka and along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina signed an agreement to swap 111 Indian enclaves within Bangadesh for 51 Bangladeshi enclaves within India. As part of the agreement, India would have to give up territorial claims to roughly 1,165 acres of land while in return Bangladesh will cede claim to around 1,881 acres of land.
The BJP, however, has opposed the land swap agreement with Bangladesh charging that the country's territorial integrity stands to be compromised. It has in the past also passed resolutions in the past opposing any such agreement.
The BJP has demanded that complete details of the land transfer protocols with relevant survey maps be tabled in Parliament and a comprehensive discussion be taken up before any steps are taken to part with Indian territories.
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