Prime Minister Narendra Modi began Day 2 of his visit to Bangladesh with a trip to the Shaktira Jeshoreshwari temple, around 300 kilometres from capital Dhaka. It was redecorated specifically for the occasion. He is in the country to celebrate the golden jubilee of the nation’s independence and the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, its founder. As part of the two-day tour, he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a one-to-one meet later in the day.
From there, PM Modi went to Tungipara, the mausoleum complex of the Bangabandhu. This is also the ancestral home of the late leader. He was received there by the Bangladesh Premier, the Bangabandhu’s daughter.
His next stop is expected to be Orakandi, the place where the Matua community’s founder, Harichand Thakur, hailed from. This becomes significant in view of the first round of voting in the Assembly polls taking place in West Bengal today. A huge number of the Matuas migrated between 1947 and 1971 to what is today West Bengal and the community now holds sway over more than 35 assembly seats in the state.
Expected to be back in Dhaka by noon, he is set to have one-to-one talks with Ms Hasina following which there is likely to be lengthy delegation-level talks, too. Several MoUs have been signed last year. Some are expected to be signed today, too.
Day 1 of the visit saw PM Modi paying tributes at the National Martyr’s Memorial in Savar and meeting a wide variety of people, including opposition leaders and liberation fighters, also called Muktijodhas. Later he addressed the main function of the day at Dhaka’s Parade Ground, as part of the 50th anniversary of the nation’s liberation from Pakistan in 1971.
Four people were killed in police firing during protests near the port city of Chittagong against his visit. Trouble erupted in Dhaka, too, with the police reportedly using rubber bullets to disperse protesting crowds.