Modi visited Bangladesh from March 26 to 27 to attend the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman following an invitation from his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
“We have no objection whatsoever to his visit to Bangladesh for this official purpose. After all, India played a critical role in the liberation of Bangladesh. West Bengal, in particular, made an immense contribution to the heroic struggle of our fellow Bengalis in (what was then) East Pakistan for freedom from the brutal regime in West Pakistan,” reads the letter signed by TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien.
“However, the All-India Trinamool Congress strongly objects to Shri Modi’s programmes in Bangladesh on March 27. These had nothing to do with either the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh or the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. Rather, they were solely and exclusively intended to influence the voting pattern in certain constituencies in the ongoing elections to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal,” the letter said.
“No Indian Prime Minister has so brazenly indulged in an unethical and undemocratic act and violated the Model Code of Conduct by indirectly campaigning for his party from foreign soil,” it charged.
The letter alleged the political motive behind Modi’s visit was proved by the fact that he took along with him BJP lawmaker from West Bengal Santanu Thakur who holds no official position in the government of India.
“No MP or representative from the Trinamool Congress or other parties was invited to accompany the PM. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has thus grossly misused his official position to interfere from foreign soil in the election process in West Bengal,” O’Brien said. “The All-India Trinamool Congress demands that the Election Commission of India not only censure him but also take deterrent punitive action against him,” the letter stated.
The Digpu News Bottomline
It is very uncommon for killings to occur in a country via Police brutality while a foreign dignitary as powerful as India’s PM is visiting. However, that did happen in Bangladesh, leading to the death of 13 unarmed protesters till now. At the same time, the main opposition party in the poll bound state of West Bengal has called this a “Brazen Violation of the Election Commission of India’s Code of Conduct”. Interestingly, the BJP has a history even with the MCC of ECI, be it the ECI banning the Gujarat BJP Chief from campaigning after conclusion of polls in 26 constituencies or the UP-Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath chanting Hanuman Chalisa for the ban period after being banned for raising the “Bajrang Bali v Ali” slogan.
While the killings are in fact Bangladesh’s internal matter but it does cast a shadow on the international image of the Indian Prime Minister. At the same time, it remains to be seen how the Election Commission of India treats the TMC letter.