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To question on Bangladesh polls citing India Today report, White House said this


approach as Bangladesh gears up for crucial January election. A journalist posed a question on the issue, citing an India Today digital report that delved into the divergent interests of India, China, Russia on one hand, and the US on the other, in the Bangladesh polls.

The report published on IndiaToday.in analysed how while India and China are in one camp, backing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the US is seen siding with Khaleda Zia

White House Spokesperson John Kirby was asked to respond to the question that as “India, China, and Russia are on the same side” to back Bangladesh’s current regime, what is the US’ position as it seeks to take “necessary steps to hold a free, fair, and credible election in Bangladesh”?

In response, John Kirby said, “We believe in a free and fair election in Bangladesh, and we’ll continue to make that case. We don’t take sides in foreign elections, and that doesn’t change in Bangladesh’s case either. We support a free and fair election. We’re going to continue to do what we can to support that basic aspiration of the people of Bangladesh.”

The January election is seen as a big test for democracy in Bangladesh and the poll results are likely to have huge repercussions for India.

While both India and the US have said they support a stable Bangladesh, the two of the world’s biggest democracies seem to be in opposite camps. While New Delhi is seen as backing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League, Washington has announced that any individual seen as undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh would face visa restrictions.

As friction builds up in US-Bangladesh relations, with Washington trying to pressure Dhaka to hold free and fair election, using the visa restrictions threat, India is wary of the return of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-Jamaat government.

All eyes are now on January 7 polls in Bangladesh, as India, China, Russia, and the US watch the script unfold in the South Asian nation.