Sushma Swaraj has arrived in Dhaka in what is her first solo visit abroad after accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his official tour of Bhutan. The veteran BJP stalwart is expected to discuss matters relating to the Land Boundary Agreement, illegal immigration and the proposed Teesta river pact.
In the short tour of two days, she is to meet the Prime Minister and the President of the state and has been accompanied by senior officials and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. Though an official source suggests that there are no treaties to be signed or major breakthroughs happening, the tour is seen to be as a “goodwill” visit, aimed to improve relations and carry forward the “positive trajectory.”
Ms Swaraj has also made an official call to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informing her of the visit. Under the UPA regime, it was the TMC, allied with the AGP and BJP who had opposed the land boundary agreement and the water sharing deal on Teesta with Bangladesh.
Finally, the suspense over the venue and dates of IPL 7 is over. The upcoming season is scheduled to kickstart on April 16. The opening ceremony is decided to be held in UAE this year and the closing ceremony has found India as its venue. The organizers have announced a three-phase schedule for this season’s tournament – The first 16 matches will be held in the UAE from April 16, the next phase between May 1 and 12th is scheduled to be in Bangladesh if the Indian Home Ministry is unable to provide security in India, and the last section will be held in India ending on June 1.
UAE emerged the frontrunner after South Africa wanted to hold the full tournament. Recently, UAE had also hosted the ICC U-19 World Cup.
The final phase of the Indian elections is on May 12th, after which the IPL will return to its home country. A detailed itinerary is likely to be declared in a couple of days. “The BCCI has got a security clearance from the union home ministry to hold the IPL matches in India after May 12 (the last day of voting). As a result, around 60 per cent of the matches would be played in UAE,” a BCCI source told mid-day.