Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will represent Bangladesh in the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on May 26.
“She (Chaudhury) will represent Bangladesh at the ceremony since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be on a pre-scheduled visit to Japan on that day,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in Dhaka.
India earlier invited Prime Minister Hasina along with the heads of governments in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations to attend the ceremony at desired by the prime minister-elect.
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The spokesman said Modi had also invited Hasina for a courtesy meeting after the ceremony but she could not join it as she would leave Dhaka for Tokyo on a four-day visit on May 24.
Earlier, Modi conveyed his desire to invite all SAARC heads of governments as he met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
There is no precedent for inviting foreign heads of government when an Indian prime minister has been sworn in but Modi’s gesture appears to be a signal that he would run a neighbour-friendly government.
During the election campaign, Modi was engaged in some tough talk against both Pakistan and Bangladesh on issues of terrorism and illegal migration, but has later said “election campaign and governance” are two different propositions.
BJP President Rajnath Singh had said that about 3,000 people would be invited for Modi’s oath-taking ceremony, which will be held in the premises of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.