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Buddha's borders on PM's plate
- CM focuses on Bangla & Nepal during talks

New Delhi, Sept. 17: Bengal's border worries figured prominently in chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's interaction here today with the Prime Minister.

Amid the first talks between India and Bangladesh in four years that began acrimoniously yesterday in Dhaka, Bhattacharjee told Manmohan Singh that the situation along the countries' border was 'grave'.

'I have informed the Prime Minister that ISI-backed terrorists are operating from Bangladesh. The situation is grave,' he said after the 35-minute meeting with Singh at 7 Race Course Road.

'The situation is also grave along the Indo-Nepal border because of Maoist operations,' the chief minister added.

Bhattacharjee sought from Singh the deployment of Indo-Tibetan Border Police along Bengal's border with Nepal to counter Maoist activities. He emphasised that Darjeeling district was 'bearing the brunt' of the activities.

According to the chief minister, Singh said he understood the gravity of the situation.

Bhattacharjee has been raising the border issue before the Centre for the last few years. He had often met former deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani to highlight the 'sensitive' situation in Bengal.

He had even displeased his party, the CPM, with the comment that some madarsas along the border were a hub of militant activity.

Both Bhattacharjee and Jyoti Basu are making the most of their two-day stay in Delhi ' for the CPM politburo meeting ' to highlight their concerns before Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Basu, along with party general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet and politburo member Sitaram Yechury, will meet the Prime Minister and the United Progressive Alliance chairperson over lunch tomorrow.

Basu's meeting will be taking place a week after he said his party was unhappy with the Centre.

The Left has been angry over some economic issues, most recently over the Planning Commission's decision to include World Bank representatives in the consultative committees.

Yechury said the party has identified five issues to highlight before Singh and Sonia. These are food-for-work programme, national employment guarantee scheme, rural infrastructure, education cess and rural health.

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