BNP leaders appear upset about the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s just-concluded India visit, which the ruling Awami League claimed, has taken the India-Bangladesh relations to a new height.
Party leaders are annoyed as the Indian government had given too much importance to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her four-day official visit to New Delhi, BNP insiders said.
They (BNP leaders and activists) got upset when they saw that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi cordially welcomed her Bangladeshi counterpart, they said.
Asked as to whether his party is upset at the Awami League-led government’s relations with BJP-led Indian government, BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy told daily sun: “There is nothing to be upset. Whichever government is in India, it maintains good relations with Awami League.”
“BNP does politics with the support of the people. People also have faith in BNP. So, there is nothing to be upset over the Al government’s relations with India’s,” he added.
On April 7, in a rare gesture, Indian premier Narendra Modi broke protocol and received his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on her arrival in New Delhi on a four-day official visit.
Modi received Hasina with a bouquet at the tarmac of Palam Air Force Station, New Delhi. The two leaders warmly shook hands and exchanged greetings.
This was Bangladeshi premier Sheikh Hasina’s first visit to India since the BJP-led government assumed office on May 26, 2014.
Dhaka and New Delhi signed 36 instruments in the forms of agreements, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and bilateral documents following Modi-Hasina tasks at Hyderabad House.
The two leaders addressed a joint press conference and unveiled the Hindi edition of the Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Modi said that he has had ‘very productive and comprehensive talks’ with Sheikh Hasina.
Sheikh Hasina also described the meeting with her Indian counterpart as “fruitful and productive.”
The Indian premier lauded Bangladesh government's determination to tackle terrorism and termed Hasina's India visit another Sonali Adhyay (golden era) in the friendship between the two nations.
Addressing a programme on Sunday night, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said the country has been ‘sold’ and a five-year agreement has been signed as she (Hasina) wants to remain in power for five years more.
After Khaleda Zia’s speech, some BNP leaders said party men are frustrated thinking that the current Indian government is maintaining good ties with the AL government and they will not support BNP.
BNP leaders and activists think that the Indian government will not put any pressure on the AL government to hold next national election in ‘free and fair’ manner.
Earlier, BNP was happy with BJP’s landslide victory in the election as the party had thought the new Indian government will not give support to the AL government like that of then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
BNP leaders hoped that the Narendra Modi-led government would bring change in their foreign policy on Bangladesh and would put an end to the India’s relations with any particularly party.
Claiming that BJP is historically more comfortable with BNP than AL, they had said the new Indian government would strengthen its ties with BNP and people of Bangladesh.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia was very quick to greet Narendra Modi even before completion of the announcement of the election results.
Talking to newsmen recently, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam said,
“It is the expectation of the Bangladeshi people from the neighbouring country and the entire democratic world that they play their due role in establishing democracy and bringing back people’s fundamental rights as well as voting rights in the country.”
BNP, already fraught with various problems within, is gradually losing foreign friends because of its faulty diplomatic strategies, according to party sources.
Faulty diplomatic strategies of BNP and its ties with Islamist organisation Jamaat-e-Islami are responsible for declining relations with some countries, a party insider said.
BNP leaders are upset due to Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India and signing of more than two dozens of agreements, MoUs for bilateral interests of the two countries, party sources said.
BNP expected that the Indian government will put pressure on the AL government to arrange fair polls under a non-party administration, but nothing happened as per their expectation.