Lok Sabha takes up Bangladesh land accord bill

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Thursday took up discussion on the bill concerning the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urged the house to pass it unanimously as it will send a good message to the neighbouring country.
Moving the Constitution (One Hundred and Nineteenth Amendment) Bill, 2013, for passage, Sushma Swaraj said it was passed unanimously by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The bill, which entails exchange of enclaves between the two countries, seeks to amend the First Schedule of the Constitution to give effect to an agreement entered into by India and Bangladesh on acquiring and transfer of territories between the two countries on May 16, 1974.
Sushma Swaraj said that while the Bangladesh parliament had ratified the 1974 land boundary accord between two countries, the Indian parliament had not done so as demarcation had not been completed on the ground.
The minister said she had moved the cabinet to keep Assam out of the implementation of agreement but the Congress was willing to support the bill only if the state was included. Sushma Swaraj said she again moved the cabinet and the bill with the inclusion of Assam was brought to parliament.
The bill to operationalise the agreement with Bangladesh includes exchange of territories in Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya, and was cleared by the union cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday.
The First Schedule defines the area of each state and union territory which together constitute India. (IANS)

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