Sonia visits Bangabandhu museum, joins conference

President of India’s Congress party Sonia Gandhi has visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city’s Dhanmondi area.

Arriving in Dhaka on Sunday night, she went to the museum at around 9:15am on Monday.

She placed floral wreaths to father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s mural during a nearly 15-minute visit to the museum.

Seeing the place where Sheikh Mujib was killed, pictures of the Liberation War and Sheikh Mujib with her mother-in-law Idira Gandhi, Sonia got emotional.

Terming Sheikh Mujib a brave leader and ruler, she said, “The Bangalee nation and the people of the world will remember him (Sheikh Mujib) forever for his role.”

She later joined a conference, telecast live on BTV, on autistic and disabled children as chief guest at Ruposhi Bangla hotel.

Sonia also visited the National Mausoleum at Savar around 8:30am. She planted a tree there.

The visit of Sonia, chair of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), follows an invitation by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

In Dhaka, Sonia will receive Swadhinata Sommanona award from the government on behalf of her late mother-in-law, former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, for her outstanding contribution to Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.

Hasina and Sonia are also scheduled to have a meeting to discuss bilateral issues, as the two neighbours have been working to improve their relationship since the present government came to power through a 2008 election.

Her visit precedes a planned official visit to Dhaka by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh on September 6-7.

After 1975, when the founder president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated, this is for the first time Awami League in Bangladesh and Congress in India are in power.

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