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BNP concerned over river-linking project

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Voicing deep concern over India's reported move to connect Teesta-Ganga-Manas-Sankosh covering three states, BNP on Wednesday urged the government to sit with the authorities concerned of the neighbouring country on emergency basis over the issue. Addressing a press briefing at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, party spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon said their party will extend all-out cooperation to the government in resolving all the national issues, including water one.
Referring to Indian media reports that the country would soon take up the task of connecting Teesta-Ganga-Manas-Sankosh in Assam, West Bengal and Bihar, he said it is a matter of deep concern for Bangladesh though it is an internal matter of India. "We've given the government a blank support over the water issue. BNP will always remain ready to cooperate with the government if it takes any initiative over national or water issues," the BNP leader said.
The people of the country are united over water issue, he said adding that there are no differences of opinion among BNP, Awami League, Jamaat, Jatiya Party and Communist Party over the water issue. Ripon, BNP's one of the international affairs secretaries, urged the government to be more assertive to realise fair share of waters from common rivers with the neighbouring country.
He criticised the government for not coming up with strong reaction to the Indian government's move. "Is our Water Resources Minister is asleep as there has been no reaction to it?
Mentioning that if the Indian project is implemented, it will have very adverse effect on Bangladesh's environment and ecology, the BNP leader said India cannot unilaterally withdraw the water from the 54 common rivers in the name of inter-river-linking project.
Ripon warned the government that many parts of the country will turn into desert if India implements the project. He suggested the government to involve the Foreign Ministry with the Water Resources Ministry to take effective steps against the India's river-linking project.
The BNP leader also called upon the government to mount pressure on the Indian government through diplomatic channels to stop the project.
He also suggested the Foreign Ministry to summon the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka to know about the Indian inter-river-linking move.
As his attention was drawn to Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam's comment that they have no idea about who are trying to split BNP, Ripon said BNP is a pro-people party and people will keep this party unbroken.

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