NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he is “happy” that his first foreign visit since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic will be to “friendly” neighbour Bangladesh ahead of his two-day tour starting March 26.
In his departure statement, the Prime Minister Narendra said he will hold “substantive discussions” with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and added that he looks forward to participate in the Bangladesh National Day celebrations on Friday.
“I am happy that my first foreign visit after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic will be to our friendly neighbouring country, with which India shares deep cultural, linguistic and people-to-people ties,” the Prime Minister said.
He said he looks forward to his participation at the National Day celebrations on March 26, which will also commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Bangabandhu was one of the tallest leaders of the last Century, whose life and ideals continue to inspire millions. I look forward to visiting Bangabandhu’s Samadhi in Tungipara to pay my respects to his memory,” he said.
He said he also looks forward to offering prayers to Goddess Kali at the ancient Jashoreshwari Kali Temple, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the Puranic tradition.
“I am particularly looking forward to my interaction with representatives of the Matua community at Orakandi, from where Sri Sri Harichandra Thakur ji disseminated his pious message,” he said.
He said that his visit will be an occasion to convey appreciation for Bangladesh’s “remarkable economic and developmental strides” under Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership.
He said the visit will also reaffirm India’s abiding support for these achievements.
“I will also express India’s support and solidarity for Bangladesh’s fight against Covid-19,” he said.