Guwahati, March 22: The AGP today demanded that the Centre hold discussions with all political parties before bringing the Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013, in Parliament to ratify the land-swap deal with Bangladesh
AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta told reporters here that they would continue to oppose the introduction of the bill in Parliament till the Centre held discussions with all political parties.
Mahanta, who returned from Delhi yesterday, also claimed credit for stalling the introduction of the bill in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. He said the Centre was forced to defer introduction of the bill because of the Opposition’s stand against it.
“The government may try to bring the bill in the next session of Parliament in April but we will continue to oppose it,” he said.
During a three-day trip to New Delhi to drum up support against the bill, an AGP delegation, led by Mahanta, met leader of the Opposition in the Lo Sabha Sushma Swaraj, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav, CPM leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury and CPI national secretary D. Raja.
“We have received a positive response from all of them,” Mahanta said.
The AGP delegation comprised MPs Birendra Prasad Baishya, Kumar Dipak Das and Joseph Toppo and party general secretary Kamala Kalita.
India had signed the land-swap deal with Bangladesh on September 6, 2011, in Dhaka in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
The deal addresses issues pertaining to undemarcated land boundary and exchange of enclaves and territories in adverse possession of the two countries.
The AGP and several other political parties and non-political organisations of the state are up in arms against ceding land to Bangladesh because according to the deal, 268.39 acres of adversely possessed land in Assam is to be transferred to Bangladesh.
While Assam is set to lose some land, West Bengal and Meghalaya are net gainers in the transfer of adversely possessed lands.