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Mamata-Hasina meet: Both want Indo-Bangladesh relations to flourish

Mamata & B’desh PM Hasina, however, mum on whether sharing of Teesta came up at the discussion

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held an hour-long meeting at a city hotel this evening with both saying that they want the “friendly relationship between the two countries to further flourish”.

However, both Ms Hasina and Miss Banerjee kept mum on whether sharing of Teesta water came up at the discussions.

According to sources, it is expected that the Bangladesh Prime Minister and Bengal CM did discuss the issue of sharing of river water. However, when Ms. Hasina confirmed her Kolkata visit in Dhaka a few weeks back, she had said that she had no intention of discussing water sharing.

“Do not bring water issues in sports,” Ms. Hasina had then said.

Earlier, in the afternoon, the two leaders had inaugurated the India’s maiden day/night test match against Bangladesh at the iconic Eden Gardens stadium.

“I’ve come with greetings from the people of Bangladesh. It is a great occasion to attend the first ever India- Bangladesh pink ball Test match. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had invited me to witness this historic occasion.

I’m very glad to be present at the inaugural match. During our war of Independence we received a lot of help from India and our one crore refugees were taken in by India at that time.

We are always grateful to India for their help. We want the friendly relationship with India to continue,” said Ms Hasina.

Ms Hasina said that the Bangladesh cricket team did not play well but said that she was hopeful that the team will play better in the remaining part of the match.

Earlier, Miss Banerjee spoke of the good relationship Bengal shared with Bangladesh and expressed her hope that the “friendly relationship would flourish further”.

“It was a courtesy meeting. We share a cordial relationship with Bangladesh. Ours is a historical relationship. We had a good discussion pertaining to the issues of both the countries. I’ve invited her (Ms Hasina) to Bengal again. We want that the friendly relationship that we share to continue,” said Miss Banerjee after the meeting.

She did not comment when asked by media persons on the issues that were taken up. Miss Banerjee gifted a Swarnachuri Saree and two shawls to Ms Hasina while Ms Hasina presented a Bangladeshi Jamdani saree and sweets to the Bengal CM.

Miss Banerjee had reached the hotel at around 6.10 pm and the meeting started soon after. The meeting lasted for around one hour. After the meeting, Miss Banerjee left the hotel for Eden Gardens to attend a cultural programme.

Ms Hasina followed her soon after. After the cultural programme at Eden Gardens Miss Hasina left for Bangladesh at around 10 p.m.