Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is busy in Bangladesh these days. The Chief Minister is busy touring various parts of the country, where he is not only engaging himself in interactions with the local leaders and business community but is also actively promoting the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his push towards South-East Asian countries through the Act East Policy.
Conrad Sangma, along with his delegation, left for Bangladesh on November 5 through the India Bangladesh Friendship Gate in Dawki. He returned through Kilapara and reached Tura on Friday night. During his visit, the chief minister also met with various chambers of commerce in various districts of Bangladesh and focused on ease of doing business in India and particularly in the Northeast.
Conrad Sangma also visited Jaintiapur, now in Sylhet district of Bangladesh, which was once the capital of Jaintia Kingdom and visited its ruins. He also took up the matter with the administration and the Government of Bangladesh to preserve the ruins. Conrad was also accorded a warm welcome by the Khasi and Jaintia people living in Bangladesh.
On the second day of his visit, the Meghalaya Chief Minister met the Commerce Minister of Bangladesh, where trade opportunities between the two countries were discussed at length. It was resolved that products for trade are identified by both the countries and an MoU is inked for the purpose. Conrad, emphasiSed on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for the region and the opportunities the Act East Policy has to offer.
In order to boost tourism between the two countries, Conrad Sangma apprised that immediate tie-up with tour operators should be forged to facilitate tourism in both sides. A four-member team of tour operators from Khasi Jaintia and Garo Hills is part of the delegation who will be holding discussions with tour operators on the third day in his presence in Dhaka.
During his four day tour to the neighboring country, the Meghalaya Chief Minister also visited Dhaka jail and paid tribute to U Tirot Sing, Khasi freedom fighter who was jailed in Dacca (now Dhaka) for waging war against the British in 1835. He also appealed the jail authorities and the Bangladesh government to erect a memorial after him within the jail premises, which they have obliged to. Conrad also paid tribute to Bangladesh's Father of Nation Sheikh' Mujibur Rahman, at the laters statue in Dhaka Jail.
The meeting between Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Conrad Sangma took place on the third day i.e. November 7, in Dhaka. The Meghalaya Chief Minister had a one-hour long discussion with the Bangladeshi Premier, where they discussed several issues concerning both the countries. In a statement, the Chief Minister said, "The meeting was very fruitful as both neighbors are looking forward to peace and stability in the region as both grow prosperously."
On the last day, Conrad Sangma met with local entrepreneurs, farmers, and businessmen of Bangladesh and focused on the need to exchange ideas between the two countries vis-a-vis Meghalaya and Bangladesh.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his cabinet colleagues Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, Commerce Minister Snaiwbhalang Dhar and Forest & Environment Minister Lahkmen Rymbui. The delegation covered a distance of 1,000 km, during this four-day road trip. He is the first Chief Minister from India to make such a visit to Bangladesh.