Confrontational politics is not new in Bangladesh. But it seems to have intensified in the last few months, especially after the unofficial main opposition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), decided to launch protests on the first anniversary of the 2014 parliamentary elections in order to force the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government to step down. The BNP considers the January 5, 2014 parliamentary elections as illegal and hence the government in power as illegitimate.
The foreign policy of a country generally changes incrementally but in the case of Bangladesh it changes dramatically towards India depending upon which political party or alliance is in power. The ideological cleavage prevailing in the country affects not only its domestic politics but also its relationship with its neighbour India. In this article an attempt has been made to explain why and how the domestic politics of Bangladesh affects India–Bangladesh relations.
Mohamed Nasheed, in alliance with the Jumhooree Party, poses a formidable challenge to the Abdullah Yameen government. Yameen is using the judiciary as a tool to crush this challenge and further his own political objectives.
It is not clear what kind of democracy the BNP wants to restore in alliance with the Jamaat which does not believe in democracy. But the AL needs to proceed with caution in dealing with the ongoing protests lest it comes to be seen as an autocratic government.
With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition coming to power in India in May 2014, the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh has come to the forefront once again. However, the fear is whether the debate over the issue will shed more light, leading to the resolution of the problem, or whether it will simply degenerate into political rivalry and polarisation. Illegal immigration figured prominently in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections and was often raised by one of the leading political parties, the BJP.
Realising the electoral significance of the issue the Congress seems to be engaging in a competitive politics with the BJP by talking of giving citizenship to even those migrants who came to India after 1971 but were persecuted in Bangladesh.
The Awami League government may not have done everything right in the last five years, but it has done commendable work by South Asian standards. The Bangladesh economy has grown consistently at about six per cent and the government has done well to contain the extremist forces.
The emergence of the third political candidate Qasim Ibrahim of the Jumhoory Party has made the present political landscape in Maldives intensely competitive and antagonistic with petitions and counter allegations over the election process. This in all possibility might lead to a long period of political instability.