• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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‘Burn wives’ sarees first’: Hasina slams opposition’s India boycott call

Sheikh Hasina alleged that during BNP’s tenure, ministers and their spouses would purchase sarees in India to sell in Bangladesh. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Vivek MishraBy: Vivek Mishra

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina has criticised opposition leaders demanding a boycott of Indian products, questioning how many Indian sarees their wives own and why they aren’t burning them.

Speaking at a gathering of the ruling Awami League, she targetted Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders for their boycott stance, alleging that during BNP’s tenure, ministers and their spouses would purchase sarees in India to sell in Bangladesh.

“My question is, how many Indian sarees do their wives have? And why are they not taking the sarees from their wives and setting them on fire? Please ask BNP leaders,” NDTV reported her as saying.

She then moved on to Indian spices and said that if the opposition leaders want to boycott India, they should stop using Indian spices in their kitchens. “Garam masala, onions, garlic, ginger, all spices that come from India should not be seen in their (BNP leaders’) homes,” she said.

The remarks followed BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi’s symbolic protest against Indian products, during which he discarded his Kashmiri shawl on the road.

These events coincide with the ‘India-Out’ campaign in Bangladesh, which has gained momentum following the Awami League’s victory in an election boycotted by the BNP. The campaign, supported by activists, influencers, and some opposition figures, alleges Indian interference in Bangladeshi politics to favor Hasina’s government.

Hasina’s comments mark a departure from her earlier silence on the issue, as the opposition attempted to paint her as “pro-India” and link her election victory to alleged Indian support.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s party Awami League has secured a fifth term after winning two-thirds of the seats in the general elections in January. Hasina has won a record fourth consecutive term as the country’s Prime Minister.

The ‘Boycott India’ campaign grew online following Hasina’s victory, and anti-India posts surged online with hashtags like #BoycottIndianProducts, #IndiaOut, and #BoycottIndia trending on social media platforms.

India Today reported that Dhaka markets usually stocked with Indian products were refusing to take fresh deliveries.

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