AS Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed willingness to pass the Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in the ongoing winter session, Dhaka has conveyed to New Delhi that Bangladesh President Mohammad Abdul Hamid is willing to visit India later this month. The dates being explored are in the third week of December, and could be as early as December 18-19.
Bangladesh is also keen to schedule a reciprocal visit by Modi, and talks are underway to schedule the visit in January next year.
Top government sources told The Indian Express that the Bangladesh government is pleased with Modi’s assurance given during his recent meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the LBA, which was followed up by his public statement on the agreement. “This will be a ‘thank you gesture’ from Bangladesh, as President Hamid will be coming to India,” a senior official said here Wednesday.
The LBA has been hanging fire since 2011, after former prime minister Manmohan Singh had signed the agreement with Hasina in September that year during his visit to Bangladesh.
Trinamool Congress and Assam BJP had opposed the LBA, and the Congress-led UPA government had been unable to push through the legislation in Parliament.
However, after the BJP-led NDA government came to power in May this year, the party has changed its stance from the earlier position as an opposition.
Early this week, the standing committee on external affairs on Monday asked the government to present, without any delay, a bill to give effect to the LBA.