Ahead of her visit to Bangladesh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the two-day trip.
According to official sources, Swaraj made a call to Banerjee to "touch-base" and tell her about the visit during which the External Affairs Minister will hold talks with top Bangladeshi leadership on key bilateral issues including Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), proposed Teesta river pact and illegal immigration to India. However, the sources refused to give any further details about the conversation between Swaraj and Banerjee.
Swaraj's call assumes significance given that Banerjee's party Trinamool Congress prevented the previous Congress-led government from signing the Teesta water sharing deal with Bangladesh.
In 2011, Banerjee, then an ally of the Congress-led UPA, backed out from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Bangladesh visit, opposing the Teesta water sharing treaty between India and Bangladesh, following which it was shelved. The Indian delegation, which is expected to raise issues like illegal immigration and market access, is also prepared that Bangladesh will raise the "touchy" issues of LBA and proposed Teesta river pact during the visit beginning tonight.
This is Swaraj's first stand-alone foreign visit after becoming minister.