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Sheikh Hasina gifts 2,600 kgs of mangoes to PM Modi & Bengal CM, among other Indian leaders

The Bangladesh PM is also believed to be gifting mangoes to India's northeastern states. The gesture comes at a time when Dhaka is upset with Delhi for stopping Covid vaccine delivery.

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New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has gifted 2,600 kgs of mangoes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee among other Indian leaders, as a goodwill gesture. The Haribhanga mangoes will be delivered to them soon.

According to the Dhaka-based newspaper, Daily Manab Zamin, the shipment arrived at the Benapole-Petrapole check post on the India-Bangladesh border on Sunday afternoon, from where the gift packs will be dispatched to the residences of the prime minister and the chief minister.

President Ram Nath Kovind is also one of the recipients.

The consignment was received by First Secretary (Political) of the Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh in Kolkata, Md Samiul Quader.

The report also said Bangladesh is planning to send truckloads of mangoes to some of the Northeastern states like Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.

“Our Prime Minister has sent 2,600 kilograms of local Haribhanga mangoes for India’s Prime Minister, Chief Minister of West Bengal and other political leaders,” said Anupam Chakma, deputy commissioner of Benapole Customs House.

Haribhanga mangoes are grown in northwest part of Bangladesh.

Mango diplomacy has always been a tradition in the South-Asian region.

However, Sheikh Hasina’s gesture comes at a time when Dhaka is upset with New Delhi for putting a halt in sending Covid-19 vaccines from India to Bangladesh.

Also read: Why Bangladesh – not India or Pakistan – is destined to be the economic star of South Asia

Vaccine woes and Teesta trouble

Bangladesh had clinched a deal between its drugmaker Beximco Pharma and Serum Institute of India (SII) in November 2020 to procure 30 million (three crore) doses of vaccine, for which it paid $60 million. But so far the country has received only 10 million (one crore) doses.

While India is planning to resume vaccine shipments to the neighbouring countries by end July-August, it will depend on whether vaccination numbers pick up within the country.

The issue of the Teesta river water sharing also continues to disturb the growth in bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, Prime Minister Modi’s only foreign trip has been to Dhaka in March 2021, in an effort to tighten its strategic embrace of Bangladesh with greater connectivity projects.

Prior to that, India and Bangladesh jointly inaugurated the ‘Maitri Setu’ that will connect India’s landlocked Northeast with Bangladesh.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Covid aid to India, financial help to Sri Lanka — Bangladesh is showcasing its economic rise


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