Ruling Awami League's General Secretary Obaidul Quader has expressed astonishment at Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen's statement that he requested the Indian government to do whatever is necessary to ensure the continuation of Sheikh Hasina's government.
"India itself will be ashamed of such statements," said Quader, adding, "Whoever said that may be his personal opinion."
Obaidul Quader said, "The Awami League did not make such a request, nor did Sheikh Hasina's government give that responsibility to anyone."
Quader, the road transport and bridges minister, was speaking while inaugurating the Janmashtami procession at the Palashi intersection in Dhaka University area on Friday.
Terming India as a friend in times of trouble, he said, "India has a bond of friendship with us, but that does not mean that we will request them to retain power.
"The source of all our power is the people of Bangladesh. No outsider can help it sustain power."
Quader said, "How come we said this? The friendly relationship with India is going well. Do not spoil it by making unnecessary comments."
Obaidul Quader said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is due to visit India next September. The country may reach a consensus on some other issues during her visit as there will be discussions to strengthen transactions, and partnerships.
Noting that the country does not want hostility with India, Quader said, "After 1975, our country has suffered the most by antagonism with India. After Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi came to power, they resolved the issue of mistrust."
Obaidul Quader claimed that after this government came to power, except for a few isolated incidents, events such as Durga Puja and Janmashtami were observed peacefully by the people of the Hindu community.
He said some violent incidents have been happening lately. Those who attack Hindu temples and houses are not of any party.
"They are crooks. They are everyone's enemy."
Obaidul Quader said the people of the Hindu community are not a minority in this country. "You have fought the Liberation War. You also have equal rights. There is no one to deprive you of this right.
"The BNP practices communal politics. They are the ones who instigate people." Obaidul Quader told the Hindu community that they should be careful.
Foreign Minister Momen, while addressing a Janmashtami programme in JM Sen Hall in Chattogram on Thursday evening, said he had requested the Indian government to do whatever was necessary to help Bangladesh maintain stability and harmony.
"When I went to New Delhi, I told the Indian government that Sheikh Hasina must be sustained. Bangladesh will continue to march towards development and will truly become a country free of communalism under her leadership," Momen said.
His statement created a stir in the political arena, drawing flak from the BNP that said the government has resorted to foreign countries to survive.
The foreign minister, however, claimed that his statement came out wrongly in the media. He has also alleged that the speech has been spread on purpose.
He comes under fire days after being lambasted over his comment that people in Bangladesh are in heaven compared to those in other countries amid the global recession.
Momen was also criticised earlier for making gratuitous and objectionable statements.
On 11 August this year, he publicly used undiplomatic language to rebuke the Swiss ambassador in Bangladesh as he said the envoy had "lied" about Bangladesh's not asking for any specific information on the Swiss bank accounts of its citizens.
In an interview with the Indian weekly "The Week" published on 31 May 2020, he said the India-Bangladesh relationship was "like that between a husband and a wife".
Prior to this, his comment on Covid-19 also sparked criticism as he said, "There's nothing to worry about Covid-19 pandemic, it is like normal flu."