Delegation of Bangladesh’s Awami League to visit India at BJP’s invitation | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Delegation of Bangladesh’s Awami League to visit India at BJP’s invitation

Aug 05, 2023 08:55 PM IST

The five-member delegation, led by Awami League presidium member and agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque, includes party joint secretary general and information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud, party organising secretary Sujit Roy Nandi and two women MPs

A delegation of Bangladesh’s Awami League party is set to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday for meetings with top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ministers, months ahead of a crucial general election in the neighbouring country.

The Bangladesh delegation’s visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s planned trip to New Delhi to attend the G20 Summit in September and the general election due in the neighbouring country by January 2024. (File)
The Bangladesh delegation’s visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s planned trip to New Delhi to attend the G20 Summit in September and the general election due in the neighbouring country by January 2024. (File)

The five-member delegation, led by Awami League presidium member and agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque, will visit India at the BJP’s invitation. The delegation includes party joint secretary general and information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud, party organising secretary Sujit Roy Nandi and two women MPs.

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The delegation is expected to meet senior BJP leaders and Union ministers during the three-day visit. According to Vijay Chauthaiwale, who heads the BJP’s foreign affairs department, the delegation will visit BJP headquarters on Monday and interact with party leaders.

The Awami League leaders will also be given an overview of the BJP and how it functions. “Because of the ongoing Parliament session, we are in the process of working out the schedule for a meeting with BJP president JP Nadda and some senior ministers,” he said.

The delegation will meet leaders from BJP’s Yuva Morcha and Mahila Morcha. It will be taken to the Prime Minister’s Museum and the war memorial, which has plaques in memory of those who died during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

The BJP invited the Awami League leaders as part of its “Know the BJP” initiative and an external outreach. The visit is aimed at enhancing party-to-party interaction.

The Bangladesh delegation’s visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s planned trip to New Delhi to attend the G20 Summit in September and the general election due in the neighbouring country by January 2024. Bangladesh is among the guest countries under India’s G20 presidency.

In recent months, Prime Minister Hasina’s government has faced pressure from the West, especially the United States, for holding free and fair elections. The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has demanded the election be held under a neutral caretaker administration, but this has been rejected by the Awami League. The Awami League, which has been in power for almost 15 years, has asserted that the election can be free and fair under the oversight of the Election Commission.

The pressure over the election comes at a time when the Bangladesh government is grappling with an economic crisis and a wave of protests by the BNP and its allies. The Bangladeshi side recently turned to the Indian government to intercede with the US on these issues.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi made it clear this week that India wouldn’t take a position on the Bangladesh opposition’s demand for elections under a caretaker regime. “The whole world may comment on it, but India is India, and we have a very special relationship with Bangladesh. What happens in Bangladesh, it impacts us. And I think, the election and the democratic processes should be held as per how the Bangladesh people determine it,” he said.

“We would hope that there is peace and there is no violence, and the elections are held as per plans. On the issue of caretaker governments and all, I certainly don’t have any comments,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Rezaul H Laskar is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Hindustan Times. His interests include movies and music.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

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