'Indian parties see Jamaat as barrier to rapport with BNP'

‘Indian parties see Jamaat as barrier to rapport with BNP’

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Three BNP leaders, who went to India to seek the support of the Narendra Modi government, returned on Saturday with a strong message that BNP will have to sever ties with its political ally Jamaat.
BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman sent the three leaders as his special messengers to New Delhi to establish rapport with Indian ruling party and opposition leaders. According to reports received in Dhaka, of the three leaders, BNP vice-chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo met Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar at the ministry in New Delhi on Thursday.
BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and party’s international affairs secretary Humayun Kabir held a meeting with Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses(IDSA. The BNP leaders also held a meeting with Observer Research Foundation and influential organisation Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).
During their visit, they also met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP-affiliated nationalist think tank Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation director Dr Anirban Ganguly, sources said.
The BJP assigned Anirban Ganguly to talk to the BNP leaders. BJP president Amit Shah asked him to convey the party’s message to them that BNP will have to sever ties with Jamaat. Congress also made its stand clear that BNP will have to cut its relations with the Jamaat-e-Islami if it wants to get the support of Indian people.
BJP and Congress both suggested that BNP take part in the election by avoiding Jamaat-e-Islami, reliable sources said.
The BNP leaders conveyed the message to Tarique Rahman, now in London. The BNP high command will decide the next course of action.
During the meeting, Anirban Ganguly told the BNP leaders that if their party (BNP) wants to take part in the election it must keep Jamaat out of its alliance.
Jamaat leaders now cannot contest election using their party symbol and may take part in the race as candidates of the alliance with other parties. BNP leaders try to convince the BJP leader that they have made ties with Jamaat as part of the electoral strategy as the party has 7 percent votes, but it does not support Jamaat ideology.
If BNP patronises such controversial persons, it will not be possible for the BJP to support it, the BJP leader added.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also expressed a similar view at his meeting with the BNP leaders. UPA minister Anand Sharma was present during the meeting.
They said BNP empowered and patronised Jamaat. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia during her last India visit urged leaders of the country to forget the past and change stand.
Awami League is the more trusted partner to the Indian leaders and people of their country. However, the Indian leaders said they want to see a free and fair national election in Bangladesh and they will not interfere in internal affairs of any country.
Indian intellectuals advised the BNP to take part in the polls for the sake of democracy and accept the poll’s results. – GW News Desk

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