Sushma Swaraj meets ex-Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia in Dhaka; discuss upcoming polls

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia

PTI October 23, 2017 09:30:36 IST
Sushma Swaraj meets ex-Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia in Dhaka; discuss upcoming polls

Dhaka: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia and said India wants to see the upcoming election in Bangladesh to be "participatory and credible", the main opposition party BNP said on Sunday.

Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which had boycotted the 2014 general election, currently holds no representation in the Bangladesh Parliament.

Sushma Swaraj meets exBangladesh PM Khaleda Zia in Dhaka discuss upcoming polls

File image of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj . PTI

The party has been demanding fresh elections under a non-party caretaker government.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League had swept the 2014 election and rejected BNP's demand for fresh elections.

"She (Swaraj) said India expects that the polls will be fair... with participation of all parties," BNP's secretary general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said after Zia's meeting with Swaraj at Hotel Sonargaon where she is staying during her two-day visit.

The talks lasted for 45 minutes during which Swaraj said that being the next-door neighbour, India wanted to see a continued democratic process in Bangladesh.

"On behalf of the BNP, several issues related to our politics and elections scheduled for next year were highlighted during the meeting," Alamgir said.

A BNP delegation led by Zia met Swaraj after her courtesy call on Prime Minister Hasina.

Zia, who was accompanied by several party leaders, did not have any one-to-one talks with Swaraj.

It is said that the BNP is known for its anti-India stance in the country and has been trying to brand the ruling Awami League as a "pro-India" party in a bid to take mileage in domestic politics.

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