‘BNP wanted to sit with BJP’

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is the face of the BNP in the absence of jailed party chief Khaleda Zia, and her son Tarique, living in London. Photo: The Indian ExpressBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam wonders why New Delhi ignores what he calls misdeeds of the ruling Awami League including torture and disappearance.

In an interview with Indian Express recently, he said India is being blamed by Bangladesh’s common people, referring to a perception that India is helping the AL to cling on to power.

“The Awami League is a hated political party. But, just because of India, it has survived, it’s India which has strengthened Awami League,” Mirza Fakhrul was quoted to have said.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who is leading the BNP in Sunday’s elections, told the Indian newspaper “There is no campaign, it’s a reign of terror, that too state terror.” He complained about how the police was being used by the ruling party. He called it “bhoyaboho obostha” or “a dangerous situation”.

The BNP leader was said to have rejected suggestion that his party is anti-Indian.

“We seek friendship with India. And contrary to the perception in India, we don’t believe in communalism, fundamentalism,” Fakhrul said.

“That’s a totally a false perception that we are anti-India, this is part of Awami League’s concerted propaganda.”

“We tried to meet Indian leaders outside the country. We sought appointment from the Indian high commissioner, sought and met three times, it’s not the other way around,” the Indian newspaper quoted him as saying, suggesting that the BNP leaders “feels that Indian diplomats are not keen to meet and engage with the BNP leaders since they don’t want to upset the incumbent government led by [prime minister Sheikh] Hasina.”

“We’ve been reaching out to India, including our chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia’s visit to Delhi in 2012. We thought with BJP in power in 2014, things would improve. She had a very good meeting with [Narendra] Modi, but nothing happened after that. There was no follow up.”

“We were disappointed. We tried to fix up a meeting with BJP’s general secretary Ram Madhav in Bangkok in August this year, but the Indian side chickened out,” he told The Indian Express.

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