West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to extend her stay in Dhaka for attending the banquet to be hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tonight (Saturday) in honour of the visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited Mamata Banerjee to attend the banquet. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam conveyed the invitation to Mamata Banerjee
Mamata, who arrived in Dhaka on Friday night a day before Modi's visit, was scheduled to leave after attending the exchange of LBA documents between the two Prime Ministers at the Prime Minister's Office. Before that, she will call on Modi at his hotel.
Though it was initially believed that the West Bengal Chief Minister would come with the Indian Prime Minister, she arrived separately and will even stay in a separate hotel -- Hotel Radisson.
Mamata, who visited Bangladesh in February this year, had urged Dhaka to 'keep confidence' in her about the signing of the much-sought Teesta water sharing deal between the two countries.
UNB adds: However, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has recently made it clear that the Teesta water-sharing agreement will not happen during Modi's Bangladesh visit.
Asked whether Mamata's plan to visit Bangladesh separately indicates any negative notion, international relations expert Prof Imtiaz Ahmed said recently that if Mamata stays in Dhaka during Modi's visit that is 'good enough'.
"Her decision to come separately may be linked to her preoccupation at home. She may show she's not like other chief ministers. We've to understand she's not like other chief ministers - Tarun Gogoi and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar," he added.
Prof Imtiaz said Modi and Mamata are now in better terms, and there have been basic changes in their ties over the last few weeks, indicating a political compromise. "So, I don't see any political problem and I'm hopeful there may be some surprises that may even include Teesta."