Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ‘’planned to make a 12-hour stopover in New Delhi on June 8’, reported the UNB on May 27 that also hinted at a ‘goodwill exchange’ between the two premiers. A tricky twist added in report was ‘all need to wait further to see things get mature first’.
But a dispatch of the Press Trust of India (PTI) sent from Dhaka on May 27 reported that ‘the possible meeting’ of the two prime ministers on June 8 was ‘unlikely’.
“She (Prime Minister Hasina) was scheduled to have a 12-hour stopover in New Delhi. But it is being changed and under a revised decision, the premier will directly return home from Helsinki without a stopover in Delhi,” the PTI story said quoting a senior foreign ministry official in Dhaka.
Contradictingthe UNB story, the PTI also reported,‘the meeting is not likely to take place due to some changes in her schedule’.
Whether for NarendraModi’s ‘expected visit to Maldives on 7-8 june’, as reported in an Indian news and media website or for ‘some changes’ in Sheikh Hasina’s schedule, the meeting between the two did not take place as speculated.
First Post, an Indian news and media website, part of the Network 18 media conglomerate owned by Reliance Industries, coinciding with reports of UNB and the PTI on May 27 reported that PM NarendraModi is ‘expected to travel to the Maldives on 7-8 June after assuming office for the second term’.
Mainstream dailies in Dhaka citing UNB, reported on May 27, ‘Prime Minister Hasina, on her way back home after wrapping up her tri-nation visit to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland, could make a 12-hour stopover in New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Modi.
‘She will land at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport at 6:05am (local time) on June 8,’ reported the UNB mentioning PM Sheikh Hasina’s tour schedule.Neither any government spokesman nor the UNB gave any clarification why the ‘planned 12- hour stopover in Delhi’ or the ‘possible meeting’ between the two prime ministers did not work out.
One may question the purpose of such speculative stories and if taken seriously one may also ask whether this indicates a twist in the future relationship between Bangladesh and India.