Trinamool raises several issues of importance in Parliament

Trinamool has always maintained that the Parliament is a place to debate, discuss and legislate. Playing the role of a responsible Opposition, the party participated in several legislative businesses and discussions of public importance.

The day began for Trinamool with Serampore MP Kalyan Banerjee extending support to the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Lok Sabha. While underlining the important role played by Mamata Banerjee during the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, he also demanded that the government must release the funds promised to the State for rehabilitation of those who are moving to India.

“When we are thinking that they should be the voter of our country, they should cast their vote, at the same time we should also expect that they should have a dignified life in our country which is protected under Article 21 of our Constitution,” he added.

Full Transcript of his speech

Kalyan Banerjee was joined by Uluberia MP Sultan Ahmed who questioned the Communists on what they did for solving the boundary issue when they were in power for forty years in Bengal.

In the Rajya Sabha, during a Calling Attention Motion, Nadimul Haque posed several questions to the Union Home Minister regarding the administrative control of Delhi Police and worsening law and order situation in the National Capital.

“Since Delhi Police works under the Central Bureaucracy, it has no accountability to the people of Delhi, so what steps are being taken to increase and set the direct accountability of Delhi Police to the people of Delhi? And if no steps are being taken to increase the administrative control of Delhi Government over Delhi Police, does it not violate the concept of ‘co-operative federalism’ of the Centre,” he asked.

Full Transcript of his speech

During a discussion on the current situation in India universities, specially JNU and University of Hyderabad, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy questioned the jingoism prevalent in the country and batted for patriotism.

He called for a relook at Section 124 (A) of IPC dealing with sedition and called for ending its misuse. “Ultra nationalism, under no circumstances, is not accepted. Ultra-Leftism is also rejected by people,” he said. “The cruelty inflicted on Rohith must not be repeated. All culprits responsible must be brought to book,” the veteran Parliamentarian added.

Full transcript of his speech coming soon

WB CM welcomes first batch of enclave-dwellers from Bangladesh to India

First batch of people, who were living in Indian Enclaves in Bangladesh have today entered India. A group of 19 families that included 62 persons reached Coochbehar district crossing Changrabandha border post.

Following the implementation of Land Boundary agreement, around 1000 people living in Indian Enclaves opted for Indian citizenship while rest of them chose to stay in Bangladesh. However, people living in Bangladeshi enclaves in India preferred to stay in India.

Welcoming the people from Bangladesh, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee posted in social networking websites, “Pursuant to the historic Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh held in Dhaka in June 2015, where I was also present, the first batch of 19 families consisting of 62 persons from Indian enclaves in Bangladesh who have opted to stay in India entered our country today through Changrabandha in Coochbehar.”

She further adds, “I heartily welcome our brothers and sisters from “opar bangla” and wish them a very pleasant stay here.Our government will take full care of them.”

Brothers and sisters of Chhit Mahal are free again: WB CM

The historic Land Boundary Agreement Treaty was signed between India and Bangladesh today at Dhaka in the august presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Indian Prime Minister.

On the historic occasion, WB CM flagged off bus services between Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Guwahati-Shillong, along with the Bangladesh Prime Minister and Indian PM.

Later, she posted on her Facebook and Twitter pages:

“স্বাধীনতার ৬৮ বছর পরে আমার ছিট্ মহলের ভাই বোনেরা নতুন করে স্বাধীন হল। সবাইকে জানাই অভিনন্দন 

68 years after independence, brothers and sisters of Chhitmahal have become free again. My best wishes to all.”

Mamata Banerjee gets warm welcome in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended a royal welcome to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as she arrived in Dhaka last night.

From the moment Ms Banerjee’s Air India Flight entered Bangladesh on Friday evening, it was declared a VIP plane. The pilot stepped out of the cockpit to announce he had just received instructions to that effect.

Soon after her arrival, PM Sheikh Hasina telephoned Ms Banerjee to welcome her and exchanged pleasantries.

Ms Banerjee is scheduled to participate in two functions – the flagging off of the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service and the signing of the Land Boundary Agreement.

Mamata Banerjee had visited Dhaka in February this year.

After landing in Dhaka, WB CM tweeted:

Sugata Bose speaks on the Land Boundary Agreement Bill in Lok Sabha | Full Transcript

Full Transcript

Mr Deputy Speaker Sir,

I rise to support, on my own behalf and on the behalf of the All India Trinamool Congress, the 119th Constitution Amendment Bill, which after an amendment is passed will become our 100th Constitution Amendment.

At the outset I would like to congratulate our Hon’ble External Affairs Minister for bringing this historical legislation before this House, and also making a statesman like speech in the opening of this discussion and debate.

Our External Affairs Minister referred to the Radcliff Award of 1947. The roots of the problem that we are going to solve in this Parliament later today go back to the tragic partition of 1947. The irony of that partition was captured best by the poet WH Auden in his poem Partition where he wrote about Radcliff. This is what he had written-

Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission having never set his eyes on this land he was called to partition,

Time they had briefed him in London was short,

It’s too late for mutual consideration or rational debate.

The only solution now lies in separation.

He got down to work, on the task of settling the fate of millions,

The maps at his disposal were out of date and the census returns almost certainly incorrect.

But there was no time to check them,

No time to inspect the contested areas.

The weather was frightfully hot and dysentery constantly kept him on the trot,

But in seven weeks it was done,

The frontiers were decided, a continent,

For better or worse was divided.

The next day he sailed for England,

Where he quickly forgot the case as a good lawyer must.

Return he would not afraid as he told the club that he might get shot.


Radcliff was not a good surgeon; partition was often referred to as a surgical operation. Not only did it bring misery to the people on either side of the lines that were drawn on 1947, but like a bad surgeon, he left swabs inside the patient. These were the enclaves that are going to be exchanged now, today, the Chitmahals as we call in local parlance in West Bengal.

As I speak today, my mind goes back to 1971, a date to conjure with in South Asian history. I was merely a high school student, not even in college. I used to go with my pediatrician father, Dr Sisir Kumar Bose to the Bongaon border where millions of refuges had come from what was then, the eastern wing of Pakistan. I had seen poverty in Kolkata but I had never seen the kind of human misery I witnessed in 1971 in the refugee camps around the Bongaon town. But there was something else, I also used to visit the Netaji Field Hospital in a village called Bakchara where the brave soldiers of the Bangladesh’s Mukti Bahini used to be brought across the border and public spirited doctors surgeons from Kolkata would operate upon them, that is the only time in my Life that I have seen operations being conducted in the open. There was also not any saline, I have seen ‘daber Jol’ or coconut water being used in place of saline and these Mukti Jodhas sacrificed their all.

Our Indian soldiers made huge sacrifices. What we have witnessed in 1971 was a glorious freedom struggles against one of the most brutal military crackdowns in modern history. After the victory of December 16, 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman came back and I remember that on January 17, 1972, my father met him in Dhaka.

What was the border like? He just drove across in an ambulance carrying medical supplies for newly independent Bangladesh. That was the kind of border we saw in 1971. People wanted to help each other to lead a life of dignity.

Then of course in 1974, as our External Affairs Minister has referred to, the historic agreement was made between Bangabandhu Sk Mujibur Rahaman and our great prime minister Indira Gandhi. And it is a pity that 41 years have passed before this parliament could ratify that agreement.

Today the historic words of Bangabandhu’s 7 March address are ringing in my ears. He said, “Prottek ghore ghore durgo gore tolo, rokto jokhon diyechi, rokto aro debo, ei desher manushere mukto koriya chariyabo inshallah”, and he brought freedom to the people of Bangladesh. He offered to give more sacrifice in blood so that the people of East Bengal could be free.

I had the privilege of meeting Prime Minister Sheik Hasina when they were giving an award to my father posthumously just two years ago. What is really positive, what is really historic about this Bill is the fact that in this Bill carefully balanced, and we are protecting and promoting, the national interest, the states’ interest and the human interest.

The national interest because this Bill, once it is passed later today by this House, will bring about a revolutionary transformation in the relations between India and Bangladesh and I agree with the External Affairs Minister that we will be able to rekindle the spirit of 1971 and after that when you go on to ask the people of Bangladesh and the Government of Bangladesh for trade and transit facilities, they will respond to you in a positive manner. So, national interest is supreme.

I know that earlier this week there was a little temptation to falling prey to narrow party, partisan interests. But what is important today is that the people of Assam also rose to the occasion and the temptation was resisted. National interest was put above party, political interest.

Secondly, the states’ interest was protected. It was a real privilege for me to work in the Standing Committee of external affairs. In the unanimous report that we tabled in this House on the December 1, 2014, we protected the states’ interest. This is what we said about the earlier history, “closer consultations at the highest political level between the Central Government and State Government would have been desirable. The committee while appreciating the efforts to keep the state governments on board, would suggest the Government to effectively coordinate with them in all matters and resolve the lacuna if any related to the actual implementation of the accord on the ground.”

And I am very glad, am truly happy. I have to tell the External Affairs Minister that she has conducted consultations at the highest political level as we had wanted and she has spoken several times to our leader, the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. We had also said the committee that the Central Government and the State Government of West Bengal will arrive at a consensus on the issue related to the rehabilitation package.

All the humanitarian issues should be resolved in advance including assistance from the Central Government in this regard. And I trust as External Affairs Minister assured on the floor of this House that the rehabilitation package which has been sent to her by the Government of West Bengal, led by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the December 6, 2014, will be available to the State so that we can build infrastructure and also give a true life of dignity to those in the enclaves who have been leading a miserable existence for the last 67 years. That is the most important aspect of this Bill. We are protecting the human interest.

What we are going to do today is going to be a solution of intractable problem. A solution that is going to be found in the spirit of insaniat. Under the sign of insaniat human beings are taking precedence over territory, small amounts, small pieces of territory that are only going to be notionally exchanged between the two suffering states of India and Bangladesh.

Mr Deputy Speaker Sir, I would like to say that sometimes I hear certain justifications for this agreement and I can understand that the ruling party, in order to satisfy their recalcitrant constituents in a certain province, may often have to make those kinds of arguments. I often hear that this particular piece of legislation and the final settlement of the land boundary between India and Bangladesh will help us resolve the problem of illegal emigration of smuggling across the borders and so on. Now that may well be a by-product of settlement that we are going to reach with Bangladesh. But let us remember that this historic piece of legislation is actually meant for the benefit of the law abiding citizens of India and Bangladesh.

Once the entire boundary is demarcated, I would like to see that innocent law abiding citizens of India and Bangladesh should be able to cross the border with dignity and I would urge our External Affairs Minister to have consultations with the Home Minister so that a whole series of integrated check posts can be set up along the India-Bangladesh border.

We want ordinary people to be able to cross without difficulty. We want music to flow across the border that separates to Bengals. We want theater groups from the two Bengals to come to each other and to have their performances. I have spent a lot of time as a student in Bangladesh going about all the districts, work in district record rooms and I have seen that how much people of Bangladesh admire Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Sarat Chandra Bose and Netaji subhash Chandra Bose. I have seen the best performance of DL Roy’s Shah Jahan play on a stage in Dhaka. Not on this side in Calcutta even though we have great theater personalities and theater groups in West Bengal, and some of them are now actually belong to our party the All India Trinamool Congress.

So, I would like to say that let us gift this historic piece of legislation to the people of two Bengals and also to someone whose birth anniversary pochishe-e-boishakh we are going to celebrate all over the country in two days time. He wrote the national anthem of our two countries India and Bangladesh. All the songs that he wrote during the Swadeshi movement of 1905 were inspirational for the muktijoddhas of Bangladesh in 1971.

Bangladesher hriday hote kokhon aponi, tumi ki oporup rupe bahir hole janani, ogo maa tomay dekhe dekhe ankhi na phire’.

We have always envisioned our State Bengal and also Bharatbarsha as the mother.

In those days we used to recite Jibanananda Das’s poetry – “Banglar much ami dekhiyachi tai prithibir rup khujite jahi na aar”. That means we have seen Bengal’s face that is why we don’t need go out and find beauty in the rest of the world.

So that is what I am being reminded of here today and finally I would simply like to say that let us remember that during the hay day of the Swadeshi movement Rabindranath Tagore wrote a very beautiful song- “Amra milechi aaj mayer daake” – that means we have actually gathered here at the call of the mother. We are answering the call of the mother in passing this historic legislation in the Lok Sabha today.

It is such a great moment to see that we have risen above all political party differences. We have protected the national interest, the states’ interest and the human interest today.

So let us, as has happened in the Rajya Sabha, rise to the full stature of this House and unanimously pass the Constitution Amendment Bill and let the message go out to the whole of South Asia that we want peace of development for the poor who live all across this great subcontinent.

Thank you Deputy Speaker Sir.


Trinamool’s Sugata Bose hails Land Boundary Agreement Bill as historic in LS

After Rajya Sabha, Trinamool today lent its support to the 119th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2013 in Lok Sabha thus paving the way for land boundary agreement with Bangladesh.

Speaking on behalf of the party, Sugata Bose delivered an emotive speech, thanking everyone for rising above partisan politics for national interest, state interest and human interest.

Reminiscing about his first-hand experience of Muktijuddho in 1971, Sugata Bose rued the fact that it took 41 years to ratify the agreement signed by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibar Rahman and Indira Gandhi.

Quoting Tagore and Jibanananda Das, the eminent historian said, “What we are doing today will be a solution for a intractable problem. Let the message go out to the rest of South Asia we want peace and development for the downtrodden.”

Click here for the full transcript

Land Boundary Agreement will solve a long-standing dispute: SS Ray

Trinamool today supported the Constitution (One Hundred and Nineteenth Amendment) Bill, 2013 in the Rajya Sabha which will pave the way for exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

Speaking on behalf of the party, the Chief Whip Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said Trinamool opposed the Bill earlier because State government was not appropriately consulted with by the then central government.

“WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee has asked Central Govt to help the State in intervention to extend help & comprehensive rehabilitation. Bengal government has accepted the Bill in totality after the Central Government has agreed to sanction Rs 3900 crore for the rehabilitation,” he said.

We all are concerned about the separatist agitation that is going on within the district of Coochbehar, added SS Ray.

Maintaining that the agreement will solve the long standing problem between the two countries, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray also added that implementation of the Bill will decide the fate of 51,000 people.

He concluded saying that West Bengal government will work towards better relations between India and Bangladesh.

Click here to read the full transcript


WB CM pays homage at Dhaka Shahid Minar on 21 Feb

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee was present at Shahid Minar, Dhaka at midnight February 21, to pay her respectful homage on the International Mother Language Day on 21st February.

“It is one of the most memorable moments in my life to be present at Shadid Minar, I am overwhelmed and deeply touched with emotions to experience this historic moment,” she said.

The President of Bangladesh HE  JB Abdul Hamid and Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina were also present on the occasion.

The ceremony to pay homage to the martyrs of Bhasha Andolan began right after 12 midnight. The West Bengal Chief Minister paid respect with a bouquet of flowers with the words “আমার ভাইয়ের রক্তে রাঙানো একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারি, আমি কি ভুলিতে পারি …,” written on it.

WB CM said that it was her longtime wish to come to Bangladesh and pay tribute to the martyrs of Amar Ekush. She said that this was a matter of pride for her.

Earlier in the day she had paid tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the  Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 32 Dhanmandi.

WB CM also shared her experience on Twitter:

Baithaki Bangla to strengthen cultural ties between two sides of Bengal: WB CM

WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee arrived at Dhaka yesterday after 17 long years to attend the Bhasa Divas ceremony.

She has been invited as the chief guest of the ceremony by the Bangladesh Government. This is her first visit to Bangladesh as the Chief Minister of West Bengal.


Stregthening cultural ties 

‘Baithaki Bangla’ was the first engagement of the Chief Minister which was a platform for interaction between the luminaries of both the countries from the world of literature, drama, music. She would be later meeting the President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh during her stay.

The cultural fraternity of both sides of Bengal met and discussed how to strengthen cultural ties and standing relations between West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Rising above borders 

WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee called this initiative as a ‘meeting of minds’. At Baithaki Bangla, the CM said that no border in the world can divide the hearts of two Bengals. She proposed a series of steps to cement the cultural bond between her state and Bangladesh, including the construction of a “Bangabandhu Bhaban”, a building to be named after the country’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“Political geography has divided us, but there is no division in our two minds. I feel proud to be a part of the Bhasa Divas celebration,” she said during her interaction with litterateurs and cultural figures.


Here is what she tweeted after Baithaki Bangla: 


Warm welcome for West Bengal Chief Minister at Dhaka

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee received a red carpet welcome in Dhaka on Thursday when Bangladeshi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr Shahriar Alam received her at the airport

The West Bengal Chief Minister expressed hope that her Dhaka tour would further strengthen ties between Bangladesh and her state and promote business between the two sides. “I will carry to Bangladesh the message of enhanced trade links and other exchanges between West Bengal and Bangladesh,” she told in Kolkata.

Across the border, too, her three-day visit has rekindled hope. “We hope that with this visit a conducive environment will be created to resolve the pending issues between Dhaka and Delhi,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr Shahriar Alam told on the eve of West Bengal Chief Minister’s visit. “Legally, the bilateral issues are to be resolved by the central governments. But we believe her visit will make it easier to resolve outstanding issues in the future,” he added.

Bangladeshi media, too, hailed the West Bengal Chief Minister’s visit. The Bangladesh Observer headlined its report ‘Mamata’s visit to expedite settling pending issues’, while the Prothom Alo headline read ‘Mamata comes to repair relationship’.

The West Bengal Chief Minister’s made it clear that her opposition to the land boundary agreement, which will lead to the transfer of enclaves, is a thing of the past. “As you know, we have made our position clear. I have been there (to these enclaves) personally. We have sent a proposal to the Centre. It isn’t only a question of 17,000 acres of land. But it is about rehabilitating people, ensuring their livelihood. I would say it is positive,” she added.

On Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali’s invitation, the West Bengal Chief Minister is scheduled join the Language Day ceremony at midnight on February 20 with the president at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. They will lay wreaths in memory of 1952 language movement martyrs who laid down their lives demanding Bengali be the state language in the erstwhile Pakistan. Mamata may visit Bangobondhu Sk Mujibur Rehman’s birthplace to pay her respects. She is set to meet the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on February 21.

The West Bengal Chief Minister is also expected to address a business event to be organized by the India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Ms Mamata Banerjee will lead a 39-member delegation with the aim of increasing trade and investment between Bengal and Bangladesh.