General Secretary, All India Congress Committee, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is leading a high level delegation to attend the 20th Triennial conference of Bangladesh Awami League at Dhaka, has extended the warm greetings of Congress President Sonia Gandhi on this occasion to the Bangladesh Awami League and its leaders in common and its President, Sheikh Hasina Wajid in particular."The relationship between the two political parties–the Awami League and the Indian National Congress is very strong and goes way back in time. Congress has lent its support to the Awami League in some of its most defining moments in history and I am happy that our efforts have been graciously acknowledged in the citation included in the award conferred on Indira Gandhi which states, I quote, “Indira Gandhi stood by the side of the people of Bangladesh from the beginning of the Liberation War despite various adversities. She provided shelter to about one crore Bangladeshi refugees. She provided courage in the Liberation War by facing different diplomatic hurdles. She played a great role in freeing Bangabandhu from Pakistani jail. Her contribution to Bangladesh’s Liberation War will be remembered forever.”We appreciate the gratitude expressed in the award conferred and consider it a tribute to all those who struggled and made sacrifices in the name of freedom and human dignity" said Azad while delivering his speech.
While spelling out the similarities among the two political parties viz-viz Indian National Congress and Awami League, Azad said that, The Awami League and the Indian National Congress have played an instrumental role in the development of their countries during the post independence period. Among the challenges we faced, the foremost was the challenge of eradicating poverty and upliftment of the strata who suffered discrimination. Our parties have significantly contributed in overcoming such challenges.Speaking about warmth of the relations between India and Bangladesh Azad said that successive Governments lead by the Congress Prime Ministers of India and The Awami League Prime Ministers of Bangladesh have on various issues helped in cementing the ties between the two countries.Recalling the passage of 100th Constitutions Amendment Bill in Indian Parliament, Mr. Azad said "As the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, I witnessed the historic passage of the 100th Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Indian Parliament which gave effect to Land boundary Agreement. It was indeed a milestone in Bangladesh-India relations as well as the functioning of our Parliamentary democracy as the Indian National Congress and all Indian political parties showed a great demonstration of comradeship by unanimously adopting the bill."He further said that India and Bangladesh are close strategic partners in counter terrorism, India appreciate various steps taken by the Government of Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid to counter terrorist activities on Bangladeshi soil in the aftermath of July terror attack. This will further help in strengthening global community's fight against terrorism.
The Indian National Congress is no stranger to struggles as it worked tirelessly towards India's independence through civil disobedience and non-cooperation movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. This freedom movement was one of the greatest mass movements in the world history. After 1919, it was built around the notion that the people of the country play an active role in politics and their own liberation.Mahatma Gandhi moved and mobilized millions into politics and propagated the view that the people, and not the leaders alone, created a mass movement, whether to overthrow a colonial regime or for social transformation.Recalling the great Bangladeshi leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Azad said that it was he who lead and mobilized the mass civil disobedience and non co-operation which finally lead to the liberation of Bangladesh. "India's links with Bangladesh are civilizational, cultural, social and economic. There is much that unites the two countries – a shared history and common heritage, linguistic and cultural ties, passion for music, literature and the arts." said Azad.Shri Pradeep Bhattacharya, MP, Abhijeet Mukherjee, MP, and Mausam Noor, MP are accompanying Azad for attending 20th Triennial Conference of Bangladesh Awami League being held at Dhaka. (KNS)