Bangladeshis ‘anti-India’ because of Awami League

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Dhaka, Aug 26 (IANS) Bangladeshis are “largely anti-India” because of New Delhi’s close relations with the ruling Awami League, a key advisor to chief of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party Khaleda Zia has said.

Professor Emajuddin Ahamed, former Dhaka University vice-chancellor, on Thursday said: “They are anti-India because of your relations with the sitting government in Bangladesh.”

He was apparently referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ahamed recalled how India helped Bangladesh during the Liberation War and asked: “Why no one in Bangladesh can tolerate India today? Why they are so anti-Indian? It should not have happened….”

He made the remarks while talking about the protest against the Rampal power plant project, an India-Bangladesh joint venture near the Sundarbans, bdnews24 reported.

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He urged the Indian government to build relations with “the people of Bangladesh, (and) not any particular party”.

“Democracy is flourishing in India magnificently. Your country has adopted the system, then why not here? Why don’t you utter a single word on the matter,” he wondered.

Ahamed also said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s administration was being “very weak” towards India.

He said Hasina should scrap the Rampal project, keeping in mind that she won Champions of the Earth award for her contribution in tackling climate change.

Environmental groups have expressed concern that the power plant could alter the critical water balance in the Sundarbans — one of the largest mangrove forests in the world — and pollute the surrounding water and air as well as increase the risk of oil and coal spills — all of which, they say, could seriously damage the mangrove forest.

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