Narendra Modi stressed strengthening the Indo-Bangla bilateral ties, Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday
The Dhaka-Delhi relationship is going through a golden era, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, during her recent visit to India.
“He [Modi] emphasized deepening the bilateral ties for political stability and economic development [of both the countries],” the Bangladesh premier told a media briefing in Dhaka on Wednesday.
“[Modi said] India will stand by Bangladesh as a partner and provide assistance in its endeavour to become a developed nation,” she said, reading out a prepared speech.
Besides, establishment of Bangladesh Bhavan at Santiniketan will further enhance the cultural bonds between the two nations, the premier said.
The press conference was organized at Ganabhaban, the prime minister's official residence, Wednesday afternoon to brief the media about her recent visit to West Bengal, India.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali were present on the stage with the prime minister, while PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, PM’s advisers HT Imam, Dr Moshiur Rahman and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present at the briefing as well, among others.
Addressing the press conference, the prime minister said on the first day of her two-day official visit, she, along with her Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, joined the convocation ceremony of Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan in West Bengal.
Later, they jointly inaugurated the newly constructed Bangladesh Bhavan built on the university campus, BSS reported.
Hasina further said the Indian prime minister had congratulated the Bangladeshi people for the successful launch of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite.
Speaking about how Bangladesh Bhavan came to be, Prime Minister Hasina said primary discussions on constructing the building began during her previous visit to Santiniketan in 2010.
The issue of building the Bhavan, financed by the Bangladesh government, was mentioned in the joint communique during the visit of then Indian prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to Bangladesh in 2011, she added.
Later, an announcement was made in this regard during the visit of former Indian president, Dr Pranab Mukherjee, to Bangladesh in 2013.
In light of the announcement, Hasina said, the education and cultural ministries, and the Department of Architecture in Bangladesh, jointly constructed the Bangladesh Bhavan at a cost of Rs25 crore.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that a one-time corpus fund of Rs10 crore would be set up for the maintenance of the building as well as its operations.
From the fund dividends, fellowships will be awarded to 10 Bangladeshi students doing MPhil and PhD research at Visva-Bharati University, she added.
The prime minister went to West Bengal on May 25 for a two-day official visit.
On this visit, she also received an honorary Doctor of Literature (D Litt) degree from Kazi Nazrul University in Asansol.
The prime minister also had a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
She visited the historic Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the residence of Rabindranath Tagore, and the Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata.
'India will always remember Bangladesh for returning its peace'
Saying that Bangladesh wants nothing in return from India, Sheikh Hasina said the neighbouring country would always remember Bangladesh for returning peace to India, UNB reported.
“Bangladesh helped India to get rid of daily bombings and shoot-outs. We brought back peace to them; they have to remember this,” she added.
The prime minister further said the present government did not want anything in return from India.
Responding to a question on the Teesta water-sharing issue, Hasina said her visit this time was not to discuss this issue. "The Joint River Commission is there to discuss it," she added.
Responding to another question, the prime minister said the government did not depend on others to solve Bangladesh's water problems. "We are doing our job to mitigate the water problems in the country."
She also mentioned rivers and canals across the country were being dredged and old and new ponds were being dug to solve the water crisis.