‘Burn Indian saris first’: Sheikh Hasina attacks ‘boycott India’ campaigners

Dhaka: Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina has hit out at the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) whose leaders have called for a boycott of Indian products. While addressing a meeting of her party Awami League, Hasina asked how many sarees do the wives of BNP leaders have, and why haven’t they set it on fire.

The Bangladeshi premier continued her attack on the Begum Khaleda Zia-led BNP, saying that when it was in power, the then ruling party’s ministers and their wives would buy sarees on India tours and sell them in Bangladesh, an NDTV report said.

“Garam masala, onions, garlic, ginger, all spices that come (from India) should not be seen in their (BNP leaders’) homes,” Hasina was quoted as saying. The Bangladeshi prime minister’s remark comes after opposition BNP’s leader Ruhul Rizvi threw away his Kashmiri shawl on the road to protest against Indian products. Bangladesh is witnessing an ‘India Out’ campaign launched by some activists and influencers who are backed by a section of opposition leaders.

Those supporting the campaign have accused New Delhi of supporting Sheikh Hasina to stay on in power because the status quo suits its interests. “Our policymaking body discussed the issue when some leaders wanted clarity on the party’s stand on the boycott call. Till now, our party doesn’t have any official stand on it. But it is also true that this is a call from the people and some of our leaders are supporting it,” Sayrul Kabir Khan, a member of BNP’s media cell, was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.

In January this year, Hasina was sworn in as the PM of Bangladesh for the fifth term, days after Awami League, the party she leads, won an overwhelming majority in the general elections that were boycotted by the BNP and its allies. Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has been ruling the strategically located South Asian nation since 2009. She is among the world’s longest-serving female heads of government.

Image courtesy of X@StayWithHasina

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