India no longer wants to see controversial polls

India no longer wants to see controversial polls

Dhaka, Nov 17 (Just News): India wants to see a free, fair and peaceful election participated by all democratic parties in Bangladesh.

The neighbouring nation no longer wants to see any controversial election like the previous one (5 January 2014) which was boycotted by major political parties.

Bangladesh is set to hold the 11th parliamentary election on 30 December.

“Democracy in Bangladesh has not been strengthened over last five years without the opposition in parliament,” said Alok Bansal, director at Centre for Security and Strategy, India Foundation.

He is observing this election in context of overall development of the sub-continent.

India high commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla recently said India is happy to see that all political parties have decided to participate in the parliamentary election.

Sources at the India foreign ministry said, as per the constitution of Bangladesh, the election will be held timely and all political parties will join it. Democracy will continue in Bangladesh, sources added.

India seems to be worried about the recent clash between BNP activists and members of the law enforcement over collecting nomination forms. India thinks the incident was unexpected. India does not want violence to flare up ahead of the election.

A source at the Indian foreign ministry said those who do not want democracy, cash in from the violence. Such clashes also reflect that the people are extremely eager to cast their votes, the source added.

Former Indian foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey, and also former high commissioner to Bangladesh, closely observes every election of Bangladesh.

He does not consider the clashes between BNP activists and law enforcers a ‘significant one’. He said violence is not acceptable.

“Like our countries, violence flares up centring elections even in Western countries. The recent incident in Dhaka is not comparable to the situation before and after 5 January elections. And it was not preplanned,” Muchkund Dubey told Prothom Alo.

“The election is like a festival to the people of Bangladesh. Such festivity was seen during the military rule as well as the democratic rule. I hope the administration will remain alert so that violence does not flare up.”

Former Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Deb Mukherji said the attitude of both the government and the opposition parties is positive. Such a state of mind was not seen during the last election. This is a great change which encouraged all to participate in the election.

“All the parties are moving in the right direction from the beginning. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has become flexible. She held dialogues with the opposition and they have decided to join the election. Neither party is rigid this time. We can hope a fair election will be held and vote will not be rigged,” he told Prothom Alo.

“Whichever party forms the government after the elections, questions will not be raised about the legitimacy of the government,” Deb Mukherji added.

Sitting beside health minister Mohammad Nasim, Shringla said, “Bangladesh is in the top of India’s list of important neighbours. India along with Bangladesh wants to move towards the development of South Asia. The continuity of democracy in Bangladesh is necessary for the achievement of India’s goal. It is also necessary to the flourishing of democratic, non-communal and progressive forces, according to the foreign ministry of India.

India thinks that this election will help achieve that goal.

Alok Bansal said the fate of this sub-continent depends on cooperation. Cooperation is necessary for the development of the economy, it is also necessary to combat terrorism and religious extremism. Whichever party comes to power in Bangladesh, India expects that the government will fight the evil forces and ensure the development and growth of the country. -Prothom Alo