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Meghalaya CM to visit Dhaka, hopes to meet Hasina

Shillong, Feb. 11 (PTI): Meghalaya chief minister D.D. Lapang is scheduled to visit Dhaka later this month and expected to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to discuss a host of issues, including improvement of connectivity and cooperation in tourism, healthcare and education.

Lapang, along with a delegation comprising two deputies, will be leaving for Dhaka on February 24 to participate in the international trade fair being organised by the India Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Lapang said New Delhi had assured him of giving clearance for the visit. He said he hoped to get an appointment from the Bangladesh Prime Minister.

He discussed several issues pertaining to improved ties between Bangladesh and Meghalaya with Bangladesh high commissioner Tariq Ahmed Karim last evening.

“Issues regarding road, air and rail connectivity were deliberated upon. We have been seeking to begin a bus service to Bangladesh via Sylhet, besides introducing air and rail services. Karim assured me of taking up the matters with Dhaka,” he said.

Lapang has requested the Bangladesh high commissioner to open a visa office in Shillong to encourage more visitors to the neighbouring country. The chief minister also impressed upon Karim that Meghalaya, being an education hub, could be a viable destination for Bangladeshi students. “They can come here and pursue studies and be permanent tourists,” he said.

CM flays Sangma

Lapang today slammed NCP leader P.A. Sangma for criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not being an elected member of the Lok Sabha.

“The North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC) strongly condemns the statement of Sangma. It is a highly irresponsible statement,” Lapang, the chairman of the committee, said.

A week ago, Sangma had been critical of Singh for not being a member of the Lok Sabha. “I am a strong believer of the parliamentary system of governance, but in the last several years I have been a very disappointed man...For years the Lok Sabha has failed to produce a Prime Minister,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker had said.

Altogether 21 delegates of the NECCC met Congress president Sonia Gandhi a few days ago and discussed Sangma’s statement, Lapang said.

“In India, this has been a practice from the beginning. But at no point of time has anyone made such a comment. The government has been running perfectly well, whether the Prime Minister is from the Rajya Sabha or the Lok Sabha,” he added.

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