Teesta, access issue will be solved: Chidambaram


Kolkata : Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday said the unresolved Teesta river water sharing and the issue of access to India across Bangladesh will be solved given time, understanding and statesmanship.

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“The Teesta water sharing issue is unresolved as is the issue of access to India across Bangladesh. But I am confident that given time, patience and understanding and the same level of statesmanship, those problems will be solved,” Chidambaram said during a programe of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce (BCC) here.

A miffed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee withdrew from the delegation accompanying the prime minister on his recent visit to Bangladesh in protest the proposed Teesta water accord that gave a greater share to the neighbouring nation than earlier agreed upon by the central government and the concerned states.

Her strong stand stalled the treaty, partly taking the shine off Manmohan Singh’s visit, the first to Dhaka by an Indian prime minister in 12 years. Bangladesh hit back by refusing to exchange letters of intent on providing transit facilities to each other.

“India and Bangladesh are poised for a very close relationship. We must seize the opportunity. We must not allow the moment to slip to forge a very good relationship with Bangladesh,” Chidmabaram said.

Stating that Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to Bangladesh was a major effort to build relation with that country, he said: “We have to build strong relation with Bangladesh. In the last 40 years, the two countries have gone through a love-hate relationship. The two countries are bound to each other in many areas.”

Chidambaram said it was in mutual interest that India should help Bangladesh to become a strong and prosperous country.

“We cannot build a Berlin Wall between India and Bangladesh. We must build relations. The starting point of this exercise is to find solutions to the long-standing problems. Some of the problems should have been resolved years ago,” he said.

“Just a little give and just a little take, and we have been able to find solutions to the problem of undemarcated provinces,” Chidambaram said.

“I complement all the chief ministers of the border states for standing shoulder to shoulder with the government of India to solve the issue,” he added.