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Kashiani of Gopalganj and Shyamnagar of Sathkhira are being prepared to welcome the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on 27 March.

Modi will visit and pray at the Shri Shri Harichand temple and Hari temple of Guruchand at Orakandi Thakurbai under Kashiani upazila. He will also visit the Jashoreshwari Kali temple at Ishwaripur under Shaymnagar upazila on the same day.

The VVIP guest is scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on 26 March to celebrate Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

According to his itinerary of 27 March, Modi will first visit the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at Tungipara of Gopalganj and pay homage to the founding president of Bangladesh. After that, he will visit the Orakandi temples and spend time with Thakur family, said Padmanabha Thakur, president of the Bangladesh Matua Maha Mission.

He told Prothom Alo that Thakurbari is ready to welcome the Indian prime minister.

Security around Orakandi has been beefed up prior to Modi’s visit. A recent field visit found a helipad was being prepared in front of the Thakurbari. The public works department has erected a rest house beside the Hari temple.

Shahida Sultana, deputy commissioner at Gopalganj, said assured that all the necessary preparations have been taken to receive the Indian prime minister.

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Kashiani upazila parishad chairman Subrata Thakur, also a descendant of the Thakur family, said the the Matua followers are eagerly awaiting the Indian prime minister’s visit. “The visit will further strengthen the relationship between the two neighbouring countries,” he said.

Prior to Modi’s visit, Ishwaripur of Shyamnagar, particularly the Jashoreshwari Kali temple, has taken on a festive look. Custodian of the temple Jyoti Chattapaddhaya said necessary preparations to welcome the Indian delegates are at the final stage. District administration officials, public representatives and local people are committed to make the visit a success.

Satkhira deputy commissioner Mohammad Iftekhar Hossain said preparation is underway in full swing.

Modi’s visit to Jashoreshwai Kali temple will be the first ever visit by a foreign head of state.

Some analysts are considering that Modi’s Orakandi visit will play a political role to attract vote of the Matua community for the upcoming legislative assembly election in West Bengal, India. The West Bengal media has been analysing the significance of this visit.

The Matua community founder Harichand Thakur was born at Orakandi in 1812. Hence, preparation for the Modi’s visit has already overwhelmed the Matua people of Bangladesh and India. A big portion of the Matua community live across North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Jalpaiguri, Shiliguri, Cooch Behar and Burdwan in West Bengal. The Matua community plays an influential role in West Bengal politics.

* The report, originally published in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman

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