Bangladesh elections 2024 top developments: Country goes to poll amid boycott by opposition; PM Hasina casts vote, highlights India’s role in Liberation War

NEW DELHI: National voting began Sunday morning in Bangladesh’s general elections to choose 299 Parliament members. About 170 million Bangladeshis are set to vote in the 12th national election to choose 299 lawmakers, despite a boycott by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is demanding the resignation of Sheikh Hasina.
Armed forces take charge in security deployment
Armed forces have been deployed by the government from January 3 to January 10 to aid administration amid heightened tensions. The opposition party BNP seeks to boycott the elections due to the ruling government’s refusal to meet their demands, resulting in outbreaks of violence in various areas. The current Awami League government is set to conclude its five-year term on January 29, 2024.
Bangladesh braces for election amid opposition boycott
Led by former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia, the key opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is opting to boycott the elections. The BNP had insisted on the formation of an interim non-party neutral government to oversee the voting, a demand rejected by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government. Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, is under Western pressure to conduct “free and fair” elections.
Sheikh Hasina votes in Bangladesh’s general elections
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, accompanied by her daughter and other family members, cast her vote at City College in Dhaka as polling commenced at 8 am (0200 GMT). The voting period will continue until 4 pm (1000 GMT), with vote counting to follow.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) calls for 48-hour hartal amid elections
Amid Bangladesh’s general elections, the main opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), called for a 48-hour nationwide ‘hartal’ (general strike) starting Saturday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “illegitimate government,” as reported by the Dhaka Tribune.
Sheikh Hasina lauds India for Liberation War role on voting day
As Bangladesh heads to the polls today, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended her wishes for India, emphasising the fortunate bond between the two nations. She said, ‘We are very lucky…India is our trusted friend. During our Liberation War, they supported us…After 1975, when we lost our whole family…they gave us shelter. So our best wishes to the people of India.’
(This is a developing story)
(With agency inputs)
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