LBA on course
WE are happy to note that the Indian cabinet has cleared the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) Bill on Monday including Assam along with West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya as per the original accord. The bill seeks to operationalise the LBA between Bangladesh and India by resolving the decades-old disputes over un-demarcated border, transfer of adversely possessed land and exchange of enclaves located along the common border of both the nations.
Earlier the BJP seemed inclined to exclude Assam from the LBA Bill due to stiff opposition from its Assam wing in view of the upcoming Assam Assembly Polls. This politically motivated decision triggered protest both in India and Bangladesh, albeit in varying degrees. Thanks to Indian Congress and Assam Chief Minister Gogoi who intervened to get the accord on track. We are relieved.
Now the bill awaits approval by Lok Sabha after its passage through Rajya Sabha yesterday. It is over four decades that the LBA has remained unimplemented despite Bangladesh having ratified it in 1974. This one major obstacle in the way of radically improving Bangladesh-India relations is now being put behind. On its passage through both the houses of the Indian Parliament we expect its expeditious implementation on the ground. A settled border will enable both the countries to manage their common borders more effectively and peacefully and boost growth through increased connectivity and cooperation.