• Saturday, February 24, 2024

BANGLADESH

India is our trusted friend: PM Hasina on Bangladesh election day

Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was set to win the election boycotted by the major opponent parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina casts her vote at a polling station in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on January 7, 2024. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

SHEIKH Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh eyeing a record fifth term, on Sunday (7) said ahead of casting her ballot in the country’s general election that India is Dhaka’s trusted friend.

When she was asked by an Indian reporter to give a message to the giant neighbour with which her ruling Awami League has always maintained cordial terms, the 76-year-old said, “We are very lucky. India is our trusted friend. During our liberation war, they supported us. After 1975, when we lost our whole family, they gave me shelter. So, we have our best wishes to the people of India.”

She also smiled at the reporter when she asked her for a reaction and said, “You are most welcome”.

Read: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Bangladesh opposition BNP made a mistake in boycotting election’

Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who was assassinated along with several members of her family on August 15, 1975, four years after the country became independent, was set to win the election boycotted by the major opponent parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Read: Why India matters in Bangladesh general elections

The BNP, which refused to acknowledge that the election could be free and fair under Hasina’s leadership, also called a 48-hour strike starting Sunday.

The election has been marred by violence in the run-up, including setting polling booths and trains on fire. On Friday (5), at least four persons were killed after a Dhaka-bound train was torched. Eighteen cases of arson have been reported from across the country.

More than 119 million registered voters were set to cast their ballots at more than 42,000 polling booths. The result will be announced on Monday (8).

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