India must not be seen favouring a party that is not ready to face election11 January 2015 Editorial Desk
The war of words over Indian BJP President Amit Shah’s talks with BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia over telephone on Wednesday night enquiring about her health condition has escalated a debate between Awami League and main opposition BNP. While the BNP stuck to its claim that Amit Shah had talked to Khaleda Zia over the phone and prayed for her quick recovery, the ruling AL termed it as a ‘false’ and ‘fabricated’, claiming that they have specific information that the conversation did not take place. In this back drop, BJP President Amit Shah told the private television channel 24 on Saturday that he did not have any telephonic conversation with Bangladesh opposition BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia. Earlier on Friday, the private television channel Ekattor, quoting a highly placed diplomatic source, reported that no such telephone conversation took place between Amit Shah and Khaleda Zia. Rather, the report said that a phone call was made to the BJP leader from Khaleda Zia's office, but no conversation could be held due to problems in the telephone line. A diplomatic source also confirmed the TV news report but he declined to be quoted. Meanwhile, people from different strata of society are of the view that conversation between chiefs of the two important political parties of two neighbouring countries is usual practice. So, any move to create unhappy confusion over the talks to show that the government of India favours one political party against the other. India knows democracy requires that it should maintain balanced contacts. Awami League isolated from the people now most anxious to show that India is on its side defending anti-election and no-dialogue. Currently, we have many issues of national importance to deal with like the ongoing political impasse due to the voter less election held on January 5 last year, they said, adding it depends entirely on the BJP whether it would talk to a particular political party of a neighbouring country or other parties as it likes. Hitting back at the leaders of the ruling party, BNP in a statement on Friday reiterated that the telephonic conversation between BJP chief and BNP chairperson did actually take place. But AL Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif the same day claimed that the conversation between Amit Shah and Khaleda Zia was nothing but misleading. After talking to the BNP chairperson, party joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also confirmed that the conversation between the BJP and BNP chiefs was a true fact. He accused the ruling quarters of carrying out propaganda and called upon the people to remain alert against any propaganda of the government. Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia has been confined to her Gulshan office in the city since Saturday after police cordoned off the area to prevent her from taking part in anti-government protests. Police confined Khaleda Zia to her office for the seventh day on Saturday in a bid to halt the protests marking the first anniversary of the controversial election in the country that was won by the Awami League led by her arch-rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The ruling Awami League, on the other hand, chalked out elaborate programmes in celebration of January 5 as the day of “Victory of Democracy” by the government own admission while holding the election that it was a constitutional formality that it going forcibly with holding of the election. Our people have been denied their franchise and the government is not people’s government. That is the case not only BNP, but the whole nation. The Awami League’s position is on the other hand is whether other parties joined the election or not that is not for Awami League to consider. It is a shame to see Awami League and BNP fighting who of BJP party talks to whom as if that itself makes all the difference in our politics. If BJP leader had talked to Begum Khaleda Zia, then Awami League government should feel concern, spoke a personal level about Begum Khaleda Zia’s health while in confinement. The people of Bangladesh would not like to support the idea that any friendly country should be against free and fair election.