Dhaka, Jan 2 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the people of Bangladesh cast their votes this time seeing the symbol, not the candidates, as they did in 1970.
"This election was like that of 1970. The people cast their votes just seeing the symbol ... they didn't see who the candidates were," she said.
The Prime Minister said this when outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla met her at her official residence Ganobhaban.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
Describing Sunday’s election as a peaceful one, Sheikh Hasina said it had been possible due to the cooperation of all like the civil administration and Armed Forces, police, Border Guard Bangladesh, Ansar and Bangladesh Coast Guard.
She also said all the parties participated in the election.
Talking about the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India, the Prime Minister said the two countries resolved many problems like the land boundary and maritime boundary disputes peacefully through discussions. "This will remain as an example for others to follow to deal with the neighbours," she said.
The Indian high commissioner extended his heartiest congratulations to Sheikh Hasina on her party's absolute victory in the parliamentary elections.
He said the Awami League's landslide victory in the election is the reflection of the stunning development that Bangladesh attained over the last 10 years.
Shringla said the people of Bangladesh do not want violence and hartal; rather they want to live in peace.
He informed the Prime Minister that Indian media as a whole ran positive reports on Bangladesh's election and editorials praised the polls.
The Indian envoy highly appreciated Bangladesh's socioeconomic development under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, saying the country is now a changed regional power in terms of economic development and women empowerment. "Bangladesh witnessed massive development in the field of economy and women empowerment in the last couple of years and it was too fast," he said.
Pointing out Bangladesh's existing communal harmony, he praised the Prime Minister's slogan -- religion is for individuals and festival for all.
Shringla said he along with his wife watched the docudrama – ‘Hasina: A Daughter's Tale’ -- and were deeply touched with seeing the docudrama.
The Prime Minister and the high commissioner expressed the hope that the bilateral relations will be strengthened further in the days to come.
PM's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin and the high commissioner's wife were present.