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“First Burn Wives’ Sarees”: Sheikh Hasina Slams Rivals’ India Boycott Call

New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, speaking at a meeting of the ruling Awami League, challenged opposition leaders advocating for a boycott of Indian products to disclose the number of Indian sarees owned by their wives and explain why they are not burning them.

She criticized leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for their call to boycott Indian products, questioning their sincerity by pointing out the prevalence of Indian sarees in their households. “How many Indian sarees do their wives possess? And why aren’t they disposing of these sarees by setting them ablaze? This is a question the BNP leaders need to answer,” she asserted.

Hasina, who secured her fourth consecutive term in office earlier this year, recalled instances during the BNP’s tenure when ministers and their spouses would purchase sarees during trips to India and sell them in Bangladesh for profit. Additionally, she highlighted the presence of Indian spices in BNP leaders’ kitchens, suggesting they should avoid using such products if they are truly committed to boycotting Indian goods.

The Prime Minister’s remarks followed a symbolic protest by BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, who discarded his Kashmiri shawl on the street in protest against Indian products, as reported by The Daily Star.

These developments coincide with the “India-Out” campaign gaining momentum in Bangladesh, led by activists, influencers, and a segment of opposition politicians. The campaign surged following the Awami League’s recent electoral victory in polls boycotted by the BNP. Allegations have been made that India supports Hasina’s government to maintain the current political status quo.

Although some BNP leaders, including Rizvi, have expressed support for the boycott campaign, the party’s official stance remains unclear. Sayrul Kabir Khan, a member of the BNP’s media cell, stated, “Our party has not officially taken a stand on the boycott call. However, it is evident that some of our leaders support the movement initiated by the people.”

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