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Upananda Brahmachari | HENB | New Delhi | Jan 01, 2019:: On Sunday (30-12-2018) last, Bangladesh, the world’s eighth most populous country, held what was billed as its first competitive election in a decade as claimed so far.
But the results came out frustrating the opposition as the incumbent prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and her ruling coalition headed by Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) and its alliance won 287 (BAL won 265 on its own) out of 300 direct seats in Parliament. Election of another 50 seats reserved for women will be held in the stipulated period in a representational method.
Critics say, the bullying margin of victory like 95 percent in favour of the ruling party— was a result one might expect in a state like autocrat North Korea which is not fit for an acclaimed democratic nation such as Bangladesh. Actually, the over 90% Muslim populated Bangladesh which is a de facto Islamic country as declared Islam as state religion has also been criticized for suppressing the opposition and oppressing the minorities.
The current result of 11th Parliament Election reflected the “one seat increase” of Hindu Parliamentarians so far in Bangladesh Awami League fold alongside the down graph of Hindu population in Bangladesh.
The 9th Parliament had 16 (sixteen) Hindu members in Bangladesh parliament including 2 (two) women from the seats reserved for women out of 350 parliament seats in total including 50 (fifty) seats reserved for women. All the Hindu Parliamentarians were elected then from Bangladesh Awami League tickets.
The 10th Parliament of Bangladesh had also 16 (sixteen) Hindu Parliamentarians without any Hindu women from Women Reserved Seat. Then Fourteen Hindu parliamentarians won their match with Bangladesh Awami League tickets and Two from their independent stature. The only Hindu woman parliamentarian Joya Sengupta has been elected from Sunamganj -II which is a general seat. The 10th Parliament in Bangladesh has failed to give berth to a single Hindu woman from fifty women reserved seats.
But, 17 (seventeen) members from Hindu minority community have already elected in 11th Parliament of Bangladesh from direct seats and there is some possibility to elect some more Hindu minority women from the 50 seats reserved for women.
The lists of Hindu Members in both 9th, 10th and 11th Parliament in Bangladesh are given below.
Hindu Members in 9th Parliament in Bangladesh [See list from BD Parliament website+]
Hindu Members in 10th Parliament in Bangladesh [See list from BD Parliament website+]
Hindu Members in 11th Parliament in Bangladesh [See list from BD Election Commission’s website]
Though minority Hindu electorates in Bangladesh have been extending their exclusive support to Awami League for decades, the ruling party in Bangladesh could not maintain any policy to significantly increase the minority Hindu representation in Bangladesh parliament. Now, it’s a hope for the minority Hindus in Bangladesh to get some Hindu women to be elected from any women reserved seat in the 11th Parliament there.
A senior Hindu Parliamentarian and veteran Awami League leader told HENB that PM Elect Sheikh Hasina may arrange at least three Hindu minority women in Awami League list to boost up the morale of Bangladeshi Hindu minority. So, The 11th Parliament in Bangladesh (Jatiyo Sansad) has a chance to see 20 Hindu member in it.
The minority Hindu community in Bangladesh has been extending its genuine support to the ruling Awami League since the formation of the party. To manage its Hindu vote bank, the Awami League Supremo and Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina gifted 1.5 bigha land (costing nearly 50 crore taka equal to Rs 43 crore INR) to Dhakeshwari Temple+ for restoring its old glory of the temple after which Dhaka is named.
Bangladesh has around 8% Hindu minority population at present which existed about 28% Hindu population in 1941.
A good friend of PM Modi, his BD counterpart PM Hassina assured many times to protect the rights of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh including the safety, security and prosperity.