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Hasina's Hilsa diplomacy: Bangladesh gifts Mamata 20 kg of fish ahead of oath-taking


Kolkata, May 26: Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina might not make it to the oath-taking ceremony of Mamata Banerjee, who is set to become the chief minister of West Bengal for the second consecutive term, but the former has not forgotten to send her gift to the latter.

And guess what the gift is: Twenty kilograms of Hilsa fish from the Padma River! The gift will be handed over to Banerjee by representatives of Hasina on Thursday, a report in Ananda Bazar Patrika said.

hasina mamata hilsas

Banerjee will take oath in a star-studded occasion at Red Road in Kolkata on Friday (May 27). Her Trinamool Congress (TMC) swept this year's election by winning 211 of the 294 Assembly seats alone.

Hasina is also sending her industries minister Amir Hossain Amu to be present at Banerjee's oath-taking ceremony, Besides, Bangladesh's Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata Zokey Ahad will also be present, the ABP report said. [Left, Congress not to attend Mamata's oath-taking ceremony]

A gesture to take forward Bangladesh-India relations?

Diplomatic circles believe the gesture of Hasina of sending both Hilsa and an important minister to Kolkata suggests that the Bangladeshi leadership is eyeing friendship between Dhaka and Kolkata, the report added. The deputy high commissioner also hoped that Banerjee would play a positive role in strengthening the bonds between Bangladesh and India, the report said.

Banerjee has been an important player in India-Bangladesh relations

Banerjee is considered an important player in the future growth of India-Bangladesh relation for she is chief minister of the bordering state of West Bengal. In 2011, the Bangladeshi establishment was dissatisfied with the TMC chief after she refused to accompany former prime minister Manmohan Singh during his trip to Dhaka. As a result of the disharmony from the Indian side, the Teesta water-sharing pact between the two countries got stuck.

Howeever, Banerjee made up for the loss in 2015 when she went to Dhaka with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two sides also went ahead with their historic enclave-swapping pact in August.

Diplomatic experts feel by sending the Hilsas, Hasina is reminding Banerjee about the pending water issue.

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