Two senior BNP leaders, who recently visited India, have claimed to have found a positive change in the attitude of the neighbouring country towards having a credible, neutral and inclusive election in Bangladesh, Agencies report.
Talking to UNB on Monday, BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo said they had been there in India from June 3 to 10 and joined three seminars and talked to Indian politicians and civil society members over various issues, including Bangladesh’s upcoming national election.
Three seminars on Bangladesh-India relations, Bangladesh’s current politics and Bangladesh’s next general election were arranged by Observer Research Foundation, Vivekananda International Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
“We’d discussions with different Indian think-tank organisations, civil-society members, politicians and journalist during our recent visit in the country. They’ve realised Bangladesh’s crisis ahead of the national election and they’re thinking about its way out which we thank a positive change,” Khosru said.
He said India wants Bangladesh’s next election to be held in a free and fair and neutral manner with the participation of all parties.
“If India plays any visible role to reflect the hopes and aspirations of people of Bangladesh, we think it’ll be positive for the bilateral relations of the two neighbouring country,” the BNP leader said.
Khosru said they told the Indian leaders and civil society members as to how Awami League has been in power by squeezing democratic space, snatching people’s rights and resorting to respective acts, and its efforts to hang onto power by force.
“They heard us and have their some confusion cleared through asking us many questions,” he said.
He said different democratic countries are raising their voice to restore democratic atmosphere, the rule of law, human rights, and press freedom in Bangladesh. “We hope India will also play the same role ahead of the next election.”
Mintoo said Indian leaders and others heard their speeches with their deep attention. “We’ve found a change in their attitude through their discussions and gesture and poster.”
He also said India does not want a perception to create among Bangladeshi people that it is biased to any particular party. “They want to see a free, fair and participatory election here.”
Mintoo said the India politicians and civil society members said their country will remain careful so that no one can say India interferes in Bangladesh’s internal affairs and it is biased to any party regarding the next general election.