After Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka to visit Bangladesh

February 2nd, 2009 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiDhaka, Feb 2 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra is expected to arrive here Tuesday, a few months after her politician brother Rahul Gandhi’s visit in August last year.Indicating growing interest in the development work being undertaken in Bangladesh, Priyanka, who will be here for two days, will like her brother visit BRAC, the country’s largest NGO that runs rural development projects.

She is scheduled to visit a number of BRAC-run programmes, including non-formal primary education, at Savar, 30 km outside the national capital, New Age newspaper said Monday.

According to a highly-placed source, Priyanka’s visit is a private one and she is coming to see BRAC projects, which she could replicate for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in India.

Priyanka is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud.

Her visit precedes that of India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee who will be here Sunday to discuss a host of bilateral and regional issues, including measures to combat terrorism.

Rahul, Congress party general secretary, was here for five days in August last year, when he interacted with rural development project leaders and the youth. He was hosted by Bangladesh’s Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.

As was evident during Rahul’s trip, the visit by the Gandhis, great grandchildren of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who led the freedom movement against the British in undivided India, carries political and even sentimental value for Bangladeshis, particularly the young.

The government of their grandmother Indira Gandhi had played a key role in the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation in 1971.

Their father Rajiv Gandhi had been among the first dignitaries to visit Bangladesh when it was hit by a cyclone in 1985.

Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain confirmed Priyanka’s visit. He said that the government would provide adequate security to her, New Age newspaper reported.

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