Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday called up his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina to congratulate her on her “resounding victory” in the Parliamentary elections. Hasina emerged victorious after the ruling coalition won 287 of the 298 seats in the elections held Sunday.
Congratulating Hasina on her third-consecutive term as the prime minister, Modi reiterated India’s commitment to work together with Bangladesh. During the talks, Modi said that “Hasina’s victory was the reflection of Bangladesh’s stunning development under her dynamic leadership,” press secretary of Bangladesh Prime Minister Ihsanul Karim told PTI.
The Ministry of External Affairs said the conversation was very cordial and that Modi expressed confidence that the partnership between India and Bangladesh will continue to flourish under her “far-sighted” leadership. “The PM also reiterated the priority India attaches to Bangladesh as a neighbour, a close partner for regional development, security and cooperation, and a central pillar in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” the MEA said in a statement.
“PM Sheikh Hasina thanked Prime Minister for being the first leader to call her to convey congratulations. She also thanked India for their consistent and generous support which has benefited Bangladesh’s development, and appreciated PM’s reiteration of this commitment,” the MEA said.
“Spoke to Sheikh Hasina Ji and congratulated her on the resounding victory in the Bangladesh elections. Wished her the very best for the tenure ahead. Reiterated India’s continued commitment to work together for the development of Bangladesh and further strengthening of our bilateral relations,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
India is comfortable with Hasina’s win since it had made considerable gains in the relationship over the last decade of her term. This includes increased interactions between the two nations, including 10 meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina, six video conferences and five telephone calls in the last five years. 19 development projects were inaugurated jointly by the two leaders, and they signed over 90 bilateral agreements in new areas like space, IT, electronics, cybersecurity, civil nuclear energy among others.
Hasina’s win is an unprecedented feat in the country’s political history as no other leader in Bangladesh has been able to secure a third term. The Bangladesh opposition, meanwhile, dubbed the results as “farcical” over claims of vote-rigging and called for fresh elections under a neutral caretaker government. Clashes between supporters of Awami League and BNP also resulted in the death of 18 people and left over 200 injured on Sunday.