Sheikh Hasina visit to India set to bring Narendra Modi-Mamata Banerjee together; learn how

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New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2017 10:42:18 AM

Apart from these diplomatic issues, the visit is important in the context of political landscape of India.

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will arrive in India on Friday for a four-day visit. The visit is significant because both the neighbouring countries are seeking to deepen the bi-lateral relationship amid China’s growing presence and spread of ISIS in Bangladesh. Apart from these diplomatic issues, the visit is important in the context of political landscape of India. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was apparently miffed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s several decisions, including demonetisation, is likely to meet Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee on April 8 in Delhi. According to a report, Mamata, who had raised objections over the Teesta water-sharing agreement, is expected to meet PM Modi in the banquet. They are likely to discuss several issues including central funds to her state and the contentious Teesta water-sharing issue, the report said. However, TMC sources said there is no confirmation if it will be an exclusive meeting between PM Modi and CM Banerjee.

Notably, PM Sheikh Hasina will have a series of meetings on various issues including on enhancing rail, road and water connectivity.

Ahead of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi beginning Friday, the Union Cabinet had approved an array of agreements with Dhaka, including the one on passenger cruise services.

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The other agreements cleared include the one on co-production of films and documentaries, and cooperation in the field of judicial sector.

An official statement said the MoU on passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes between India and Bangladesh will enable starting regular movement of passengers and tourists in water crafts between the two countries.

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“The operationalisation of this MoU will promote people-to-people contact and cooperation between the two countries in respect of economic, social and cultural advancement,” it said.

Another agreement cleared is for fairway development of Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara river and Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna river in the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route by undertaking necessary dredging by the two neighbours.

Once signed, the MoU on judicial sector will see development of mutual cooperation between the judiciaries of the two countries.

The MoU provides for promoting mutual interaction among judges and officials at various levels of the judiciary through exchange visits, training and academic programmes.

Another agreement approved will help enhance exchange of personnel in the field of mass media and public relations. It will also facilitate accredited mass media representatives to set up offices in the creation of conditions necessary for performance of professional duties on the basis of reciprocity.

The Kolkata-Dhaka Maitree Express will become a fully AC service from April 14 — the Bengali New Year day Poila Baishakh.

The trial run for a new train between Kolkata and Khulna is likely to be launched during the visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina.

The Indo-Bangla cooperation in rail sector is slated to get a boost as a new line between Radhikapur and Birol will be opened during Hasina’s four-day visit.

(With agency inputs)

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