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'Our trusted friend...' Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina hails India amid turbulent elections in her country

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended warm wishes to India during the national elections in her country, expressing gratitude for India's support during the Liberation War in 1971. Hasina emphasized the importance of democracy in the country's development and credited her government for establishing democratic rights

Our trusted friend Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina hails India amid turbulent elections in her country
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First Published Jan 7, 2024, 9:42 AM IST

As Bangladesh engaged in crucial polls on Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed gratitude towards India, calling the country a trusted friend and emphasizing the invaluable support during the Liberation War in 1971. In a message to India, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remarked, "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. So our best wishes to the people of India."

Recalling the tragic events of 1975 when her entire family was massacred, Hasina highlighted her years in exile in India. Upon her return to Bangladesh, she assumed leadership of the Awami League.

Following her participation in the ongoing general elections, PM Hasina underscored the significance of democracy for the nation's development. She stressed her government's commitment to establishing people's democratic rights over the past years.

"Our country is sovereign and independent...We have a big population. We have established people's democratic rights...I want to make sure that democracy should continue in this country and without democracy, you can't make any development. As we are a long-term democratic system from 2009 to 2023, that is why Bangladesh made this much of an achievement," she asserted.

Hasina expressed gratitude to the people of Bangladesh for overcoming obstacles and actively participating in the democratic process. She accused the opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), of inciting violence and hindering the country's development.

"BNP and Jamat did several arsoning and various other violent activities, such as burning train, burning vehicle, stopping people's movement...I would say that they do not believe in democracy, they are not patriots, and they are against the development of the people. Moreover, they don't want democracy to continue."

With nearly 170 million people participating in the 12th national election, the polls take place amid a boycott by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, demanding Hasina's resignation. The outcome of these elections holds significant implications for the political landscape of Bangladesh.

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