Dhaka,  Friday
19 April 2024

Despair behind BNP’s anti-India stance: AL

M Saiful Islam

Published: 07:56, 30 March 2024

Despair behind BNP’s anti-India stance: AL

Photo : Messenger

The BNP has taken the anti-India stance after the 12th general election due to political bankruptcy and frustration, Awami League leaders say.

They say the stance will put the party in further crisis. They suggest the party change its position and move forward by maintaining friendship with the neighbouring country.

When asked about the BNP’s anti-India stance, Awami League Organising Secretary BM Mozammel Haque told The Daily Messenger, “The BNP now has no political issue that it can talk about. It is opposing India out of frustration and political bankruptcy.” 

He said India is a friend of Bangladesh and such behaviour of the BNP with them is not acceptable. What BNP is doing cannot be expected from any democratic party, he also said. 

“The party is doing this out of frustration over not gaining any advantage by boycotting the elections on the one hand and not being able to carry out its movement on the other. It should change its stance and do fair politics,” added Mozammel. 

The BNP, which has been out of power for a long time, withdrew its anti-India stance at least two years before the 12th parliamentary polls and started working to improve its relations with the country. Its leaders reasoned that India had openly supported the Awami League before the 2014 elections. The country allegedly forced the Jatiya Party to contest the polls at that time. 

Besides, the BNP organised a movement by boycotting that election, but this did not yield much advantage for it. India extended tacit support to the Awami League to win the 2018 elections. The BNP leaders then thought India should not be against their party even if it does not support the party. 

That is why the BNP did not directly partner with its long-time ally Jamaat-e-Islami before the 2024 parliamentary elections as part of its measures to improve communication with India and to be in its good books. Yet, when the West, especially the United States, took a strong position to make the elections free and fair, India quietly favoured the Awami League. 

When the BNP realised this, it publicly took an anti-India stance a few days before the polls. The stance was evident in every video message of the party's high command a week before the elections. When the new government was formed, some ministers said no country could take any step regarding the elections because of India's support for the Awami League.  

Information and Research Secretary of the Awami League’s central executive committee Salim Mahmud said what the BNP is doing is nothing but deception with the nation. 
“What the party does in reality is different from what it says. The anti-India stance is nothing but political bankruptcy of the BNP. It is behaving this way because of anger stemming from not getting India's blessings,” he said. 

The leaders of the BNP and its associate bodies recently held a protest in the capital’s Nayapaltan by boycotting Indian products. BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi joined it and showed solidarity by throwing off the Indian shawl he was wearing. This intensified the party’s anti-India sentiment.

Although before this, many BNP leaders, including the party’s standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, often gave anti-India speeches. Moreover, the parties that were in simultaneous movement with the BNP and boycotted the 12th general elections have also been campaigning to boycott Indian products.

The matter has now reached the BNP’s standing committee meeting. It was discussed at the meeting on Monday, but the party could not make a decision yet.

Awami League's Central Relief and Social Welfare Affairs Secretary Aminul Islam told The Daily Messenger the BNP is opposing India not only for gaining political advantage but also as part of conspiracies to destroy Bangladesh’s economy. 

The BNP took position against India after losing in the political arena, he said. 

Aminul also said the BNP has taken this stance to destroy Bangladesh’s supply chain. “The main objective of the party is not to let Bangladesh prosper economically.”