Politics, World, Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh’s parliament speaker cancels India visit

Several Bangladeshi ministers recently cancelled visits to India amid turmoil there over its controversial citizenship law

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 02.03.2020
Bangladesh’s parliament speaker cancels India visit

DHAKA, Bangladesh 

A delegation from Bangladesh led by the country's parliament speaker has cancelled its visit to New Delhi amid the turmoil over India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, a local newspaper reported late Sunday.

“Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury was scheduled to lead an 18-member delegation to India following an invitation from the Lok Sabha [India’s lower house of parliament], but the tour has been cancelled,” said the Dhaka Tribune, quoting Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury Liton, the chief whip of parliament.

Liton, however, also cited another reason for the cancellation.

“There will be a special session of the Jatiya Sangsad [Bangladesh’s parliament] on March 22-23 on the occasion of celebrating the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

Bangladesh will celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of its founding leader on March 17. It will also declare March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021 as the Mujib Year.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been invited by Bangladesh as the chief guest at the inaugural program of the Mujib Year amid protests from different platforms, including students and some Islamic parties.

“We need to prepare everything for the special parliamentary session, and keeping this in mind, the delegation led by the speaker will not be traveling to India,” Liton added.

Earlier, several ministers cancelled their scheduled visits to India on the same grounds.

The two South Asian neighbors are passing through a rough period over the controversial citizenship law as India has accused Bangladesh of abusing minority rights during its enactment.

The law has created turmoil in India, with tens of thousands of people in various states protesting against it, leaving at least 42 people dead in northeast New Delhi.

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