|Can CM agree to border pacts?|
Prasanta J Baruah
DHAKA, Sept 7 – Can Chief Ministers of States of India, which are federal in character, give away portions of their State land or redraw the boundary maps of their States without the consent of their State Legislatures or approval of the Parliament of India.Has Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of Assam,Dr Mukul Sangma of Meghalaya, Lalthanhawla of Mizoram and Manik Sarkar of Tripura violated the Constitutional provisions of the country by giving approval to the border agreement signed by India and Bangladesh here yesterday?
Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai who thanked the Chief Ministers of the Northeastern States for their cooperation in signing of the Indo-Bangla border agreement in a late night briefing of the media was asked this question by this correspondent.
In his reply, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said that the proper word would be agreement on the "undemarcated" areas on the Indo-Bangla border. He said a total area amounting to 6.5 kms in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram , Tripura and West Bengal had remained undemarcated after partition of the country.An agreement to demarcate these areas was signed in 1974 between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But the work was hanging fire in view of local sentiments.Over the last few months joint survey was carried out and strip maps were prepared to demarcate these areas finally leading to the agreement signed between the two countries, he said.