Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Sunday advocated better Indo-Bangla relationship and said the two culturally-bonded nations should come closer on economic terms.
Addressing the inaugural session of an Indo-Bangla dialogue organized by Agartala Press Club in Agartala today, Chief Minister Deb said both India and Bangladesh governments are led by development-oriented governments under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangla premier Sheikh Hasina.
“India’s relationship with Bangladesh on political, cultural and economic fronts is going on for a long time. Both nations are progressing. We might be different nations but India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, even Indonesia have more or less similar cultures. We are united by this similar culture”, Deb said.
The event was attended by Md. Iqbal Sobhan Choudhury, Media Advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangla Parliamentarian Obaidur Muktadir Choudhury, former Governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr. Atiur Rahman, members of different chamber of commerce from Bangladesh and mediapersons from both countries.
Referring to ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman, who gave birth to sovereign Bangladesh in 1971, Chief Minister Deb said he felt proud of the legacy of February 21, which sparked the Liberation War. Language activists protested against the decision of Pakistani rulers of imposing Urdu language in 1952 and Pak forces gunned them down in the streets of Dhaka.
Deb praised Sheikh Mujib’s daughter and incumbent Bangla Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and said she has been leading Bangladesh firmly with zero tolerance to corruption.
He added, since his party formed government in Tripura, he has tried to increase trade between Tripura and Bangladesh. “The path has smoothened a lot and many restrictions were relaxed. If goods come directly from Bangladesh to Agartala without hassles of loading and unloading midway, price of commodities will come down”, the CM said.
He also spoke about ongoing Indo-Bangla connectivity projects including a bridge on River Feni in South Tripura, Agartala-Akhaura rail project etc and said Tripura can become gateway of Northeast India since it is the only state, which is 66 Km away from an international port.
While Guwahati in Assam is 1,220 Km away from Haldia port in West Bengal, Tripura is only 66 Km from Chittagong Port of Bangladesh. Feni bridge, which would connect Tripura’s south district directly with Chittagong Port, is expected to be completed by December, 2019.
He advocated for positive role of media in furthering the bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh. “If the correct thoughts are communicated across the border, bonding between India and Bangladesh will be strengthened. Media should play a role in this direction”, he said.