In today’s elections in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to secure her fourth consecutive term, with her party, the Awami League, poised for a fifth overall victory. Notably, the main opposition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), chose to boycott the polls.
Prime Minister Hasina expressed ‘gratitude’ towards India, calling it a “trusted friend” and acknowledging India’s support during the Liberation War in 1971.
She stated, “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 us shelter. Our best wishes to the people of India.”
The relationship between India and Bangladesh is characterized by historical, cultural, and economic ties, with close collaboration on various fronts, including connectivity projects, trade liberalization, and border management. Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have fostered a strong and evolving relationship through frequent personal interactions.
The current election has faced challenges, including the absence of the main opposition party, which decided to boycott after its demand for Hasina’s resignation and the formation of a caretaker government was not met. Preceding the election, the country experienced incidents of violence, with several polling booths set on fire.
Despite criticism for alleged human rights abuses and a tough stance against the opposition, Hasina’s leadership is credited with driving economic growth in a country that has grappled with poverty.