BNP: Gamechanger on Minority Vote?
Something is going on inside BNP. The party whose leader Khaleda Zia once made the nakedly communal comment “when Al comes to power we hear masjid’e hulu-dhyoni”, and whose 2001 victory saw reprisal attacks against Hindu villages, and whose staunch anti-India aggression was a key foreign policy platform, is now courting India and the Bangladeshi Minority vote.
We at AoD do not conflate Bangladeshi minorities with the India foreign policy issue, but in the past BNP has done so, making one a proxy for the other. They have also abandoned the Hindu vote as AL’s permanent bloc. BNP courtship of India, and parallel courting of Bangladeshi Minority vote, seems to be part of a new cynical realpolitik. But the fact that they feel the need to engage in such realpolitik shows that equations may be shifting.
Are those shifts permanent? Or just temporary? Nothing could be healthier for Bangladesh than both major parties feeling the need to recognize and pursue the minority vote blocs. But, the million taka question, will they dump Jamaat? And will they still oppose war crimes trials? And has the memo gone to the New York branch of BNP? And .. and.. many questions
Purboposchim argues: “it’s actually part of BNP’s ‘new look’ agenda. minorities, checked. pro-71 credential — being done. india, checked. what’s left? tarique and jamaat. maybe both are being done, and mahbub’s comments are part of that.”
Khaleda Zia:”Let’s move forward for the sake of the future overlooking the past. The BNP is a liberal party of the people of religions and communities.”
Syed Ashraf: “You (Khaleda Zia) have to change your position if you claim to be the wife of a freedom fighter. Leave the company of (Jamaat-e-Islami) and be on the side of pro-Liberation War force.”
Past Policy: “It was a mistake”
Khaleda’s India Trip
Wait and See say India Envoys