Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said the friendship between Bangladesh and India is time-tested and both countries are bonded by blood.
"Although each country has to look out for their interests first, our friendship is time-tested and bonded by blood. This relation was established in 1971," he said on Saturday.
Obaidul, also the road transport and bridges minister, made the remarks while briefing the media on the three-day trip of a 19-member Awami League delegation to India at the invitation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The delegation will leave Dhaka on Sunday.
The press briefing was held at the ruling party president's office in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
Obaidul, who will lead the delegation, said this tour was not connected with the 11th general election and it was a “party-to-party” program.
“This will improve the understanding between us and them. No relationship grows without interest. But India is more than a neighbour,” he said.
The Awami League leader continued: “The source of our power is the people of Bangladesh. BJP will not be able to come here and ask for votes in our favour. There is a beauty to the Indian democracy. They do not interfere with another country’s internal matter while other countries do.”
According to the ruling party, the Awami League delegation will meet BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and other top leaders during their visit.
The delegation is scheduled to leave for New Delhi Sunday morning. Later in the evening, they will attend a dinner hosted by the Bangladesh Embassy there.
They will call on Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and visit the parliament Monday morning, and attend a luncheon hosted by BJP leader and India’s State Minister for External Affairs MJ Akbar at noon.
Later in the afternoon, the Awami League delegation is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They will also hold a bilateral meeting with BJP leaders in the evening.
Awami League Presidium Member Pijush Kanti Bhattacharya, Joint General Secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanok and Abdur Rahman, Publicity and Publication Secretary Hasan Mahmud, Organising Secretaries Ahmed Hossain, Md Misbah Uddin Siraj, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AKM Enamul Haque Shamim and Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury Nowfel, and Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap are in the 19-member delegation, among others.