New Delhi, October 25 (BDNews24.com) : India has reportedly told the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia that it cannot recommend having a “caretaker government” to conduct the next parliamentary elections which are due between December 2018 and January 2019.
“We cannot recommend a system which is contrary to ours” a diplomatic source in New Delhi who was present during the meeting told bdnews24.com on Wednesday.
Khaleda Zia met Sushma Swaraj at Hotel Sonargoan during the latter’ visit to Dhaka on Oct 22 and 23.
After the meeting, BNP leaders said they discussed election issues with the Indian minister.
BNP did not participate in the last general elections I n2014 because the Awami League government headed by Sheikh Hasina refused to concede the demand for a neutral caretaker government to oversee the elections.
The ruling Awami League has been insisting that Hasina will remain Prime Minister during the polls as per the constitution.
The Bangladesh Election Commission has completed the dialogue with the political parties, civil society members and elections experts and had received 531 recommendations from the political parties on the election.
The diplomatic source said India as a democracy conveyed to Khaleda Zia that it wants a “free and fair” election in Bangladesh with the “best possible participation” of political parties. India wants the BNP to participate in the poll and not stay away as it did in 2014.
The Indian External Affairs Minister explained to the BNP chief the Indian way of holding elections.
Sushma Swaraj had been in Bangladesh on October 22 and 23, to attend the Joint Consultative Commission meeting.
(The featured picture at the top shows Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Khaleda Zia)