Dhaka: Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League government is hopeful of not only coming back to power but with a “huge margin” during the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held on January 7, 2024, even as the country continues to witness Have been. According to Bangladesh’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammad Shahryar Alam, calls for political violence and strikes occur almost every day, including in the capital Dhaka.
Speaking exclusively to ABP Live, the minister said: “I am sorry to say that the violence that is happening in Bangladesh right now was expected to some extent because the parties that are doing it – BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party ) and Jamaat-e-Islami – are known for such acts and atrocities especially before elections. This has been our experience in 2014. This has been our experience in 2018 also.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been in power in Bangladesh for 15 years. His government has been praised for large-scale infrastructure development in the country, which has increased connectivity internally and with other countries such as India.
According to the minister, the opposition parties were advised by some prominent politicians from other countries as well as the international community not to resort to violence and participate in the election campaign peacefully.
“So we were hoping that they would behave well this time but when the time came, they failed miserably and resorted to violence. And this is understandable, because his political programs were failing to attract and satisfy the followers of his own party because his followers are known for creating anarchy, killing people,” the minister said.
He said: “Killing a policeman is a very serious crime, attacking a hospital, burning ambulances, burning trains, trucks and public transport is a very serious crime, so the government will definitely take action on this, the law enforcement agencies will Taking action on this.” “This is why people who commit such heinous crimes are arrested and prosecuted.”
Opposition parties have called for a two-day strike in Bangladesh on 19 and 20 November. Although its response was slow on the first day, it still created problems for the common man. Sporadic incidents of violence and arson were reported in Dhaka and surrounding areas. Heavy deployment of Border Guard Bangladesh and RAB can be seen across Dhaka.
“We will ensure that people feel safe in coming out on the streets, living their lives and that politicians carry out their political campaigns before the elections and most importantly, law enforcement agencies will make every possible effort to maintain peace so that voters can feel safe.” Come out and vote because in the past voters were killed, election officials were killed, we will not let that happen this time,” the minister stressed.
opinion | Make no mistake, America is keeping an eye on Bangladesh. And this time not from India’s perspective
‘West Can Talk; India is playing a neutral role’
The US government has taken some tough policy decisions on the Awami League government, including a visa ban on those found involved in “vote rigging and intimidation”. Washington had also expressed its concerns in the last two elections and has demanded “free and fair” elections this time.
He said, “There was a lot of discussion about it (America supporting BNP-Jamaat). But I want to put it to rest. This is a thing of the past. We are in election mode, we do not want to waste our time in discussing who is saying what… India should play the role of neutral and non-intervention. And that’s what they are doing. So we welcome that stance,” Alam said.
Earlier this week, Bangladesh came into focus during the latest round of 2+2 ministerial talks between the foreign and defense ministers of the US and India. According to Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, New Delhi shared its view with Washington “very, very clearly”.
“If you pick up Dhaka and any constituency and compare it with the situation 10 years ago, it is a huge change, be it communication, infrastructure, law and order situation… We Letting people do what they want to do. Looking for a better future, there has been massive infrastructure development, the economy is becoming very strong so we are fully hopeful that the Awami League will perform brilliantly and win with a huge margin,” Alam said.
The minister said, if they come back to power next year, the government will focus more on strengthening supply chains, ensuring growth in high-skilled workforce and increasing agricultural production.
Last month, a policeman was killed and several people were injured during a clash with BNP-Jamaat, who were protesting against the government demanding PM Hasina’s resignation. The government has vowed to catch the culprits, while the Dhaka Metropolitan Police has arrested several people.