India’s influential magazine Outlook India has published a report on the ongoing political situation in Bangladesh, which will be held next January. ‘Bangladesh: Can Sheikh Hasina win the January elections?’ The headline report was written by Seema Guha.
According to the report, despite the pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Awami League from opposition parties, the United States and several European countries, there is still no visible interest on the part of the government to resign and hold elections under a neutral administration. India, the prime minister’s close ally, has not spoken publicly on the issue and Delhi is expected to support whatever decision he takes.
The report notes that as Bangladesh moves towards another controversial national election in January, there are fears of further violence in the country. Rival politicians are expected to fight on the streets.
According to the report, the Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina will not accept the demands of the opposition even if there is great pressure on the government. He is confident that the positive record of his 15-year rule will bring him back to power.
It is said that BNP did not participate in the 2014 elections. The main opposition party BNP boycotted the holding of elections under the caretaker government as the ruling Awami League did not resign before 90 days. Although the party did not participate in the elections, it was widely criticized for the violence on the streets.
According to the report, this time BNP has tried to ensure that their supporters do not turn violent. But on October 28, a policeman and a BNP leader were killed in the violence. BNP is trying not to tarnish its image again. BNP must keep their cadres under control if they want to be morally ahead of the ruling Awami League.
It is said that the United States is pressuring Sheikh Hasina to appoint a caretaker government. Washington has been criticizing Sheikh Hasina and Awami League for a long time.
Seema Guha writes that the US sided with Pakistan during the Bangladesh independence movement and never showed warmth towards the Awami League government. Now that China’s presence in the country is spreading, the US opposition party wants to support BNP.
According to the report, BNP’s election boycott in 2014 was a strategic mistake. The BNP and its alliance ally Jamaat-e-Islami had unleashed unprecedented violence on the streets at that time. This time also BNP’s election boycott strategy may be a part of applying pressure on the government, it has been mentioned in the report.