The Indian premier arrives in Bangladesh on a two-day trip on March 26
As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is highly likely to visit the Orakandi Hindu pilgrimage site in Gopalganj, the authorities concerned are busy preparing the site for his arrival.
The site, which is famous for a sacred shrine of the “Matua” community, is located in Kashiani upazila of the district, where the Indian premier is supposed to go on March 27, the second day of his two-day official visit to Bangladesh.
He will make a courtesy call on the Thakur family at the Nat Temple in the area, before offering prayers at the Harichand Temple there and paying homage to Harichand Thakur, the founder of the “Matua” community, sources said.
After that, Modi will speak with representatives of the “Matua” community, as confirmed by one of its leaders.
Padmanav Thakur, the Matua leader, said: “We’re all set to receive him [Modi]. In the meantime, we’ve held a number of meetings regarding his visit.”
According to him, officials from the Indian high commission, the deputy inspector general of police of Dhaka range, Gopalganj’s deputy commissioner and superintendent of police have already inspected the site.
“A helipad is being constructed while work on decorating the pilgrimage site colorfully is going on in full swing. All of these are meant to give him a warm welcome,” the Matua leader said.
Modi will be arriving in Bangladesh on March 26 to join the 50th anniversary celebrations of the independence of Bangladesh, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the 50th year of the establishment of Indo-Bangla diplomatic ties.
The Indian premier also plans to visit Bangabandhu memorial in Tungipara to pay homage to Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 27. He may also visit “Sugandha Shaktipith” (Satipith) in Shikarpur in Barisal the same day.
Hari Gosai, the priest of the Harichand Temple, said there was much excitement about Modi’s visit.
“The Indian premier will offer prayers at our temple, seeking divine blessings for our community as well as for the entire global population,” said an enthusiastic Gosai.
Kashiani Upazila Parishad Chairman Subrata Thakur Hiltu, who belongs to the Thakur family, also expressed his hope of successfully organizing the prayers after a vibrant reception to Modi.
Media reports suggest Modi’s visit is planned to win the hearts of the “Matua” community voters ahead of the West Bengal state government polls, scheduled to begin on March 27. The state assembly election will be held in eight phases.
The votes of the “Matua” community could be a decisive factor in the North 24-Parganas and Nadia districts as the BJP and TMC (Trinamool Congress) are involved in a huge tussle to win over voters there.
On the first day of his visit (March 26), the Indian PM will join the celebration programs with other dignitaries, and on the next day, he will hold a summit with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, according to sources at the Bangladesh high commission in Delhi.