Discussion on polls not on agenda | The Daily Star
02:25 AM, April 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:39 AM, April 27, 2018

Discussion on polls not on agenda

During AL delegation's meeting with Indian premier, says Quader; BNP thinks it is the other way around

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said during the party delegation's recent visit to India, they did not have any discussion with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the upcoming national election in Bangladesh.

"We did not discuss anything with Modi about the 11th parliamentary election. Modi himself didn't talk on this issue," Quader said while addressing a press conference at the party's president Sheikh Hasina's Dhanmondi political office.

With parliamentary elections in Bangladesh just months away, a 19-member Awami League delegation led by its general secretary went to India and held talks on several important issues with its Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many leaders of its ruling camp on April 23.

After wrapping up a three-day visit to India, the 19-member AL delegation led by Quader returned Dhaka on Tuesday.

While talking about the visit, Quader said the neighbouring country has no intention to interfere in any internal affairs of Bangladesh including its elections.

"Will India help us clinch the state power? Did they do it in the past?" he asked.

"Awami League was defeated in the 2001 general election. Did India help us secure state power then? … Citizens will decide our (AL) fate, not any foreign power," Quader said. 

The AL leader said he discussed many issues during the half-an-hour-long meeting with Modi upholding the country's national interests.

"We talked about Rohingya and Teesta water-sharing issues. We told Modi that Teesta is a life-and-death issue for many people of Bangladesh…," Quader said.

"During the visit, we told the Indian side that the friendly relation between the two neighbouring countries would further be strengthened if the Teesta water sharing deal is signed."

Regarding the 11th parliamentary polls, Quader said the election will take place in due time and many political parties will join it too.

Meanwhile, BNP yesterday alleged that the AL delegation went to India as part of the party's desperate move to hold another lopsided general election in the country with interference of external power.

Speaking at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also said AL leader Mahbubul Alam Hanif's recent comment that AL will rule the country as long as Sheikh Hasina is alive, has exposed the government's "autocratic" character.

The BNP leader warned that people would not give the ruling party any scope this time to cling to power by holding a stage-managed election.

He reiterated BNP's demand for ensuring better treatment facilities for its ailing chief Khaleda Zia, who is now in jail, at the United Hospital by her personal physicians.

The BNP leader alleged that State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has raised an absurd question about citizenship of acting BNP chairperson Tarique Rahman to divert people's attention from the issue of Khaleda's illness.

He said Tarique submitted his passport to the British Home Office only for getting the political asylum there.

"He didn't surrender his passport, but the government is running a false campaign against him," alleged Rizvi.

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