His Excellency President of India, respected Vice President, respected Speaker, Respected Manmohan Singh ji, respected Advani ji, all present respected senior gentlemen, brothers and sisters. I heartily congratulate all the three great gentlemen who are being felicitated for their excellent work. I am hopeful that this tradition being followed for the past few years will inspire all the parliamentarians. Each one will feel that in their respective roles as parliamentarians one should try and achieve high levels of conduct, depth in speech and clarity in thought as maintained by these great senior members. These kinds of thoughts would inspire all new members like us.

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I agree that there are lot of intellectual talent in the house and I see people who are capable of presenting their word beautifully but the house cannot run as an ornate articulation or as a remarkable art of presentation. Till there is a seamless integration of leadership, duty and oration, just the words will fail to make an impact on the house or inspire the nation. And so those who won these awards today are the ones who have not only been good orators but are equally capable leaders and dutiful members. The country expects a lot from the Parliament of India. We give the awards within the parliament, But sometime there should be a public survey, on how the public rates the house and in a very professional way the public opinion should be presented. How does the common man view the entire house, what does he feel, maybe that may inspire us to think our way forward.

I would request the speaker to call the speakers of all Vidhan Sabhas if possible and start this tradition in the state assemblies too. I think this will be a good step that we can take. Another thing I would like to point out is that when I was in the Vidhan Sabha and now for some time when I have been in Parliament, the humour and sarcasm which was an explicit feature is now missing, something that we have heard and read so much about. It has practically vanished from our party system. One reason someone makes a remark, then how will those who are on air 24 hours interpret it and will they debate this for 24 hours. So, the ones who can speak are scared and I think we need to seriously contemplate on this.

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I have heard of old incidents, of which I remember two or three episodes. Once there was a programme in the house to commemorate the 50 years of Independence. I had come to the house to hear it and some debate was going on and probably Sharad Pawar ji spoke first and then Sushma ji spoke. She joked and said “I don’t understand whether it is Sharad Pawar or Lalita Pawar”. The way I saw that scene, the way Sharad Pawar enjoyed that jibe, such a holy atmosphere prevailed. And that remark was not blown out of proportion by anyone in the print media or the electronic media. There is a casual sense of humour in our Parliament. And as our honourable Speaker and Arun Jaitely ji mentioned, sharp words can get you 24 hour footage but it can neither be effective nor inspirational.

That does not mean that everything should be done sweetly. That is not what I am saying. The need of the hour is to present the Parliament in a way that it becomes inspirational for the future generations. Every sentence uttered in the Parliament has its value, that it should not be undignified. And this is a collective responsibility. This is our collective responsibility, it is not about this political party, that political party, or about this or that specific individual but it is about our collective responsibility.

Dr. Karan Singh is a very experienced individual. He is still bound by the cultural traditions. Whatever disappointments he has shared, I am sure they will be helpful in self introspection. For a distinguished person like him who for so many years has served the nation through this Parliament, to know his pain, to understand his disappointment and then to modulate as per his hopes and expectations will usher in a new dignity in the house. I congratulate these three dignitaries once again.

I am new to the parliament. I also have to learn a lot. There are so many senior members, and by hearing them and understanding their views, I too will gain something. Sharad Ji said that once if he sits down to chat with the President he does not feel like getting up. I am telling you the truth. He gives such a lot of information with date and time and name, it is surprising. Like Sharad ji said, he wonders what kind of software does the President has in his mind. He said that what one would gain after reading an entire book, more than that one would have acquire half of the knowledge about India can be understood by having a conversation with him. Every parliamentarian should have the intention to remember dates, events, analysis of the situation and an ability to grasp things. All these can be learned from these seasoned members. And it is true that “Clarity of the Thought, Faith in Conviction and Correction in Acts” can help us take the dignity of the Parliament to a new level. I congratulate you once again.

Thank You!

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Bangladesh is India's largest development partner: PM Modi
June 22, 2024

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,
Delegates from both countries,
Friends from the media,
Namaskar,

I extend a hearty welcome to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her delegation. Though we have met almost ten times in the last one year, today's meeting is special because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is our first state guest in the third term of our government.

Friends,

Bangladesh is situated at the convergence of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, Act East Policy, Vision SAGAR and Indo-Pacific Vision.

In last one year, we have completed many important public welfare projects together. Between Akhaura-Agartala, the 6th India-Bangladesh cross-border rail link has been started. Cargo facility for India's North-Eastern states has been started through Khulna-Mongla Port. Mongla Port has been connected by rail for the first time. Both units of the1320 MW Maitree Thermal Power Plant have started generating electricity. Trade in Indian Rupee (INR) has started between the two countries. World's longest river cruise on the River Ganga between India and Bangladesh has been successfully completed. The first cross-border friendship pipeline between India and Bangladesh has been completed. Electricity export from Nepal to Bangladesh via the Indian grid has become the first example of sub-regional cooperation in the energy sector. The implementation of such big initiatives, in multiple areas, within just one year reflects the speed and scale of our relations.

Friends,

Today we have prepared a futuristic vision for cooperation in new areas. Youth of both countries will benefit from the agreement reached on cooperation in a lot of areas such as Green Partnership, Digital Partnership, Blue Economy, Space. India Bangladesh "Maitri Satellite” will give new heights to our partnership. We have kept in our focus- Connectivity, Commerce and Collaboration.

In the last ten years, we have restored the connectivity that existed before 1965. Now we will focus more on digital and energy connectivity. This will boost the economies of both countries. To take our economic relations to new heights, both sides have agreed to start negotiations on CEPA. India will support construction of an Inland Container Depot in Sirajganj, Bangladesh.

Friends,

54 rivers connect India and Bangladesh. We have been cooperating on flood management, early warning, drinking water projects.We have decided to start technical level discussions for renewal of the 1996 Ganga Water Treaty. A technical team will soon visit Bangladesh to discuss conservation and management of the Teesta river in Bangladesh.

Friends,

We had comprehensive discussions on further strengthening our defence cooperation, from defence production to modernisation of armed forces. We have decided to strengthen our cooperation on counter-terrorism, countering radicalism and peaceful management of the border.

On Indian Ocean region, we have a common perspective. We welcome Bangladesh's decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative. We will continue our cooperation in other regional and international forums, including BIMSTEC.

Friends,

The shared culture and vibrant people-to-people exchanges are the foundation of our relationship. We have decided to further enhance scholarships, training and capacity building. India will launch e-medical visa facility for people coming from Bangladesh to India for medical treatment. We have decided to open a new Assistant High Commission in Rangpur to facilitate the people of the North-Western region of Bangladesh.

I wish best of luck to both the teams for today's Cricket World Cup match.

Friends,

Bangladesh is India's biggest development partner, and we give utmost priority to our relations with Bangladesh. I reiterate India's commitment to realising Bangabandhu's vision of stable, prosperous and progressive Bangladesh.Bangladesh will be a developing country in 2026. I laud Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ji for leading "Sonar Bangla". I am confident that together we will realise the vision of 'Viksit Bharat 2047' and 'Smart Bangladesh 2041'.

Thank you very much.