The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Breakfast & border on Buddha, Advani table

New Delhi, March 4: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s growing rapport with Lal Krishna Advani was once again on display today when the deputy Prime Minister invited the chief minister to breakfast at his Prithviraj Road home.

It’s not often that the second in command in Delhi breaks bread with the leader of an Opposition-ruled state, but Advani and Bhattacharjee do share concerns over internal security stemming from infiltration from across the border.

At the meeting today, Bhattacharjee talked of the threat from unauthorised madarsas, some of which fan fundamentalism and fall prey to enticements from anti-India forces.

The leaders also discussed the situation on the India-Bangladesh border, the scene of a recent standoff between the two countries over a group of people stranded in no-man’s land and a frequent cause of tension.

Bhattacharjee sought Advani’s assessment of his meeting with Bangladesh foreign minister Mohammad Morshed Khan when he was in Delhi last month, a visit that followed the border crisis.

Home ministry officials said Advani’s interaction with Khan was just about polite as the visiting dignitary refused to give a firm commitment to consider India’s concerns about the influx from Bangladesh, the camps of Northeastern separatists in that country or the alleged ISI role in border areas.

Bhattacharjee was given a detailed account of that meeting and later developments and told about the Centre’s fears that Dhaka had not yet understood that the situation in India had changed dramatically after the attack on Parliament.

The chief minister briefed Advani on the recent incidents on the border and received the assurance he sought on the Centre’s support to stop illegal migration from Bangaldesh.

The state is eager to fence the border as soon as possible. So far, 1,565 km of border roads in Bengal have been constructed, but only 507 km of the border has been fenced. Bhattacharjee wants the rest of the stretch completed.

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