PM Modi to participate in birth centenary celebrations of Mujibur Rahman via video link
New Delhi, Mar 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the birth centenary celebrations of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Bangladesh on Tuesday via video link.
The year-long celebrations were scheduled to open amid massive festivities at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka on March 17 and was expected to be attended by several foreign dignitaries, including Modi. But it will be without any public gatherings due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister's Office said on Monday that Modi would participate in the "birth centenary celebrations of 'Jatir Pita' Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, tomorrow via video conferencing".
Modi's visit to Bangladesh was coming at a crucial time and he was expected to assuage concerns there over India's new citizenship law and the NRC.
But it was put off after the commemorative programmes were deferred due to detection of coronavirus cases in the neighbouring country, which rose to five.
Bangladesh on Monday closed all education institutions till March-end and imposed a ban on the entry of Europeans and travellers from several countries, including India, as part of measures to combat the deadly COVID-19.
Earlier, Modi's visit to Brussels this month to hold a summit meeting with the European Union had also been postponed in wake of the new coronavirus.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman served as the first president of Bangladesh and later as the prime minister of Bangladesh from April 17, 1971, until his assassination on August 15, 1975.
He is considered to be the driving force behind the independence of Bangladesh and has been given the title of "Bangabandhu" (Friend of Bengal). His daughter, Sheikh Hasina, is the current prime minister of Bangladesh.