Outgoing Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said people of Bangladesh exercised their franchise in the December 30 national elections in a free and fair manner.
“People of Bangladesh voted for continuity of development,” he told reporters after a reception accorded to him by Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan.
The event was held at The Westin Dhaka in the capital in the evening.
The outgoing Indian envoy said the election was a major event during his three-year tenure in Dhaka.
There were also more important events like the prime minister-level visits of the countries during the period, he mentioned.
Shringla said India and Bangladesh have signed 99 agreements on various aspects of bilateral relations, cooperation and partnership during the last three years.
“Our relations have improved significantly and we’re not only neighbours but also friends and partners,”
What the two neighbours have achieved in their relations during the period is really remarkable.
He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina for her polls victory.
Calling the victory a landmark happening, Modi said people of Bangladesh voted for development.
Shringla quoted Modi as saying that people have voted for continuation of the incumbent government’s policy and visions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
About the creditability of the polls, he said: It’s not his country’s concern; rather it’s the concern of the Election Commission of Bangladesh.”
To a question if BNP lawmakers should join parliament, Shringla said: “It’s up to a party what it will do, but as a friend of Bangladesh, I think all those who have won elections should join parliament for the sake of democracy.”
Shringla said Bangladesh and India have seen unprecedented bilateral relations as they have resolved many longstanding issues like land and maritime boundary disputes.
Citing that Bangladesh has granted full market access to India, he said, “We’re happy with the progress the two countries have made and hope for sustainable and people-to-people contact in future.”
Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan welcomed the dignitaries, including ministers, politicians, lawmakers, diplomats, jurists and journalists at the event.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, LGRD Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Railway Minister Mujibul Haque, Prime Minister’s Information Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, former ministers Dr Dipu Moni and Dr Hasan Mahmud, former state minister AB Tajul Islam, former justice Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, and Prime Minister’s former press secretary Abul Kalam Azad were present on the occasion.
Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, his son Ahmed Walid Sobhan, Vice-Chairman Safwan Sobhan Tasvir, Co-chairman Sadat Sobhan Tanvir’s son Ahmed Ibrahim Sobhan, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam, Daily Sun Editor Enamul Haque Chowdhury, Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haque Milon, Banglanews24.com Editor Jewel Mazhar, News24 Executive Director Hasnain Khorshed, Kaler Kantho Executive Editor Mostofa Kamal, Foreign Secretary Kamrul Ahsan, Daily Sun Publisher Maynal Hossain Chowdhury, GTV Editor-in-Chief Syed Ishtiaque Reza, Ekushey TV CEO Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Janakantha Editor Atiqullah Khan Masud, Ekattor TV CEO Mozammel Babu, Jatiya Press Club President Saiful Alam and General Secretary Fardia Yasmin, BFUJ Secretary General Shaban Mahmud, noted journalists Sohrab Hasan, and Ashoke Chowdhury also attended the reception, among others.
Jatiya Party leader ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader and Ziauddin Bablu, lawmakers Shirin Akhter, Abdus Salam Murshedy, Mirza Azam and Enamul Haque Shamim, former FBCCI President Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon, Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Prof Dr Choplal Bhusal, RAB DG Benazir Ahmed, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, and Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary Ashraful Alam Khokon were also present.