Ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday expressed optimism that Bangladesh and India would reach an agreement to resolve the longstanding Teesta water-sharing issue.
“We talked about the crisis over the Teesta river water. If the Teesta water-sharing deal is signed during the tenure of the two prime ministers, it will create a tremendous goodwill in both countries," said Quader, also road transport and bridges minister.
He was talking to reporters after landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport from India. An AL delegation, led by Quader, made a three-day visit there at the invitation of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
With the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh just months away, the 19-member team went to India on Sunday and held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several important issues the next day.
“We discussed several serious issues with the Indian premier and several Indian leaders, and the details of the tour will be made public through a press conference within a day or two.
"Our relation with India is good. We don't want to keep anything secret so that no one can spread rumour," said Quader.
He mentioned that the issue of the land boundary agreement also came up for discussion during the talks with Modi.
Terming Modi a charismatic leader, the AL leader said, "We praised the role of the Indian prime minister for reaching such a deal [land boundary agreement] and he [Modi] also lauded Sheikh Hasina's leadership in this regard."
In response to another question, Quader said his party could build a good relation with any country upholding the national interest.
About Indian stance on the upcoming general elections, Quader said the neighbouring country had no intention to interfere in any internal affairs of Bangladesh, including its polls.
“People are our main source of power and they will settle the issue. India has no intention to interfere in our elections and we don't think so,” he said.
"Foreign powers may be our friend. But we don't want their interference in our election. We will deal with the issue by ourselves," Quader responded to another query, adding that India never did this in the past and it would not do it in future.
About the visit outcome, the AL leader said, "Party-to-party ties will be strengthened and people-to-people relationships will be enhanced through the visit."