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Bangladeshis to decide how election will be held in their country: India

The people of Bangladesh will decide how to hold the next national election in their country, Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for India’s ecternal affairs ministry has said.

“The Bangladeshi people will determine how the election will take place. As a neighbour, India wants a stable and democratic government-run Bangladesh,” he said on Monday.

Bagchi said this while exchanging views with a visiting media team from Bangladesh at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, reports UNB.

The meeting was attended by Director (Bangladesh-Myanmar Division) of the Ministry of External Affairs of India Nabanita Chakrabarti, Indian High Commission of Bangladesh First Secretary Shiladitya Halder.

Bagchi said India always respects democracy in Bangladesh.

“India stood by the country (Bangladesh) at the time of its independence….. India will continue to do so now and in future. The relation between the two countries is excellent,” he said.

“Our relation is with Bangladesh, with its people, not with any particular party”, Bagchi added.

Responding to a question regarding the caretaker government issue in Bangladesh, the spokesperson said, “India’s constitution has nothing like that. It doesn’t happen in India. In this context, what the constitution of Bangladesh says might occur. It is an internal matter of Bangladesh.”

While asked about how India sees the relation between Bangladesh and China, Bagchi told the journalists that Bangladesh is a sovereign country. With whom it will maintain its relation is their concern.

“We have no say in this matter. If they think it is good for them, they will choose it. But the relation between Bangladesh and India is incomparable with any country. India-Bangladesh relations are at an all-time high,” he added.

During the meeting Indian officials highlighted mutual cooperation in improving relations between the two countries. Among them, India’s support to various projects of Bangladesh, gradual reduction in the trade deficit, and cooperation in the field of education and culture were discussed.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary (Bangladesh-Myanmar Division) Smita Pant said India is working on making the relation between the people of Bangladesh and India easier.

“The recent complexity regarding Indian visas is temporary. This problem will be solved soon,” she said.

Smita Pant said India implemented a number of projects in the communication sector of the two countries which include Chilahati-Haldibari rail link, rail and river connectivity with Tripura.

“Even during the Covid pandemic, the development support of India to Bangladesh has not stopped. Bangladeshi businessmen can use India’s Kolkata and Delhi airports for exports to third countries,” she said.

Also on Monday the Bangladesh media delegation visited the Confederation of Indian (CII) industries’ office in the afternoon. During the briefing session, the company’s executives discussed various issues of cooperation in the field of industry and trade with Bangladesh.

They said the trade deficit gradually decreased due to the increase in imports from Bangladesh to India and expressed optimism that it would reduce further.

In the evening, the journalists exchanged views with Indian Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

The CEC of India discussed in details how the Indian elections get acceptable to all.

Rajiv Kumar said, “The political parties of the country know if they don’t participate in the election, their existence will be at stake. That’s why all parties take part in the election. They also have faith in the election commission.”

Later that night, the visiting journalists attended a dinner hosted by Bagchi. Apart from Bangladeshi journalists, senior Indian journalists working in New Delhi and officials of Bangladesh Embassy in New Delhi were present at the dinner.