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Not consulted by Centre on Teesta, state’s interests come first: Mamata

Kolkata: Amid speculation of a likely deal on Teesta during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina next month, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she will prioritize her state’s interest while deciding on the proposed water sharing treaty with Bangladesh and claimed the Centre has not consulted her over the issue.

“I do not want to discuss anything about the Teesta water treaty because the Centre does not discuss anything with us. They do things on their own. I won’t be able to say anything on this issue without properly knowing it,” she said.

She said she has received no communication from the Centre over the deal.

“I have heard that the two countries will sign an agreement on the Teesta water treaty on May 25 but I haven’t received any formal communication of that till now. I have no information yet,” she said.

Banerjee also said she will consider Bengal’s interest as a priority.

“I have to see the benefit of the state. I love Bangladesh I will help them as much as I can after taking care of my state,” she asserted.

“I share a very good personal as well as political relationship with Sheikh Hasina. Otherwise how was the issue of ‘Chit-mahal’ (enclave dwellers) solved… an issue that was not sorted for 66 years,” she added.

Mamata had pulled out of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s entourage to Bangladesh in 2011 over the Teesta deal, leading to political embarrassment. She participated in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2015 visit to the neighbouring country but on condition that the pact would not figure in the talks.

Hasina is to visit India from April 7.