India-Bangladesh trade through Sutarkandi in Assam's Karimganj has flourished in recent years
India-Bangladesh trade through Sutarkandi in Assam's Karimganj has flourished in recent yearsImage: ANI

India-Bangladesh Trade Through Assam's Karimganj Sees Remarkable Surge

According to the Land Ports Authority of India, there are currently eleven operational land ports in India, including Sutarkandi, which facilitated trade worth Rs 47,594 crore till January 2024.

Trade between India and Bangladesh through the Sutarkandi Land Port in Assam's Karimganj district has seen a notable surge in recent years, with local businesses and residents anticipating further growth in bilateral trade in the near future.

According to the Land Ports Authority of India, there are currently eleven operational land ports in India, including Sutarkandi, which facilitated trade worth Rs 47,594 crore till January 2024.

Situated on the international border between India and Bangladesh, the Sutarkandi Land Port has become a vital customs check post for trade flow, handling exports of fruits, coal, silicon, palm and soya oil, food items, soft drinks, plastic, household goods, and waste cotton.

Local traders like Imdadul Hoque Choudhury and Nazrul Islam have noted the positive impact of improved road connectivity and government support on trade activities at Sutarkandi. Choudhury mentioned, "Now there is a good relationship between India and Bangladesh. The Indian government has supported us and many locals are coming out to join this trade." Islam added, "The export of items from India to Bangladesh has also increased and locals' income has also increased."

However, amidst the flourishing trade scenario, the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the Karimganj constituency are poised for a close contest between the BJP, Congress, and AIUDF. The constituency, with a significant Bengali-speaking Muslim voter base, has historically seen a triangular fight for political dominance.

Presently held by BJP's incumbent parliamentarian Kripanath Mallah, Karimganj is expected to witness a heated battle between Mallah, AIUDF leader Sahabul Islam Choudhury, and Congress leader Advocate Hafeez Rashid Ahmed Choudhury in the 2024 elections. With minority voters playing a crucial role, BJP faces a challenge amidst competition from AIUDF and Congress, both aiming for minority support.

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