West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will accompany Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a two-day visit to Bangladesh beginning June 06.
PM Modi’s visit to the neighbouring country is aimed to inject new momentum in the bilateral relationship by enhancing cooperation in connectivity, economic and other areas.
During the visit, part of his policy to deepen engagement with India’s immediate neighbourhood, PM Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on the whole gamut of ties and ways to move forward further.
Ties between India and Bangladesh are on an upswing ever since Hasina government came to power in January, 2009.
Modi will be visiting at the invitation of Hasina who had extended the gesture through telephonic talk and writing a letter soon after Modi had led BJP to a landslide win in Lok Sabha elections in May, 2014.
Thereafter, the two leaders had met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September last year and then again on the margin of SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November the same year.
Earlier this month, Parliament had passed a historic constitution amendment bill seeking to settle India’s 41-year-old border issue with Bangladesh. The bill will operationalise the 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement that provides for exchange of 161 enclaves adversely-held by the the two countries.
Ahead of Modi’s visit to Dhaka, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had aid in Kolkata that India and Bangladesh would soon approve the long-pending Teesta river water-sharing agreement.
The Teesta deal was set to be inked during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by Mamata Banarjee.
The Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs every year.