The million-dollar question of the present time in the politics of Bangladesh—what will be the role of India in the next parliamentary elections of Bangladesh. Will the BJP government of India support Awami League like the Congress did in 2014? Or, will it adopt a dual policy like it did in 2007?
These questions have produced different theories in the political arena of the country. Especially, the announcement of the sudden change in the Indian High Commission’s top position has created a huge snowstorm.
India has direct and indirect influence into the politics of Bangladesh. Even the BNP leaders have accepted this fact that India has the control over Bangladesh to hold the elections in any manner it wants. BNP leaders who have a good connection with India said, ‘The BJP government will not let the incident of 2014 repeat.’ A BNP leader believes, ‘AL has become too much dependent on India. It may create a problem for the party.’
According to an international relations expert, ‘The relations between Bangladesh and India reached a new level during the tenure of AL. Especially, Sheikh Hasina’s strong stance against the separatists of India has earned respect from the political parties of India. However, India wants participatory elections in Bangladesh. At least India does not want to see another election like 2014.’
However, the AL leaders also made it clear, ‘AL also doesn’t want elections like 2014.’ Almost all AL leaders said, ‘The next elections will be an inclusive one. BNP will take part in the elections.’
Targeting the elections, BNP leaders increased their communication with India. However, the BNP leaders said, ‘BNP received no good news from India.’ India made it very clear that it would only talk with BNP when it will leave Jamaat and Tarique Zia behind. But the BNP leaders could not take any decision on these two issues. Therefore, it is clear that India will not support in any elections that will create the possibility for BNP to return to power, opine the political analysts. They also believe that anything may happen in the elections of 2018 except the possibility of BNP to return to power.
In plain words, if there is no possibility for BNP to return to power, the chance of AL to remain in power for another term gets strong. However, India has long been desiring to see a secular third force in the politics of Bangladesh. For this reason, India helped late veteran AL leader Abdur Razzaq to form Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL). India’s relation with HM Ershad is also not a secret thing. India supported the minus-two formula of 2007 and likewise, a section of India supports the rise of national unity of Dr. Kamal Hossain and Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury indirectly. Is it to frighten AL or to split AL and Jamaat? Also, it is a different strategy from India which may surprise us all in the coming days.