Indian media guarded in its criticism of ‘flawed’ polls

The Indian media has not been as scathing as the
rest of the international press in its criticism of the elections to the 10th Jatiya Sangshad in Bangladesh held on Sunday, perhaps mindful of its government’s backing for the farcical poll arranged by its traditional ally the Awami League.
Zee News, under the headline ‘Bangladesh ruling party wins poll, Sheikh Hasina insists re-election legitimate’ reported that the “outcome of the elections… is no solution to the crisis brewing in the country since last few weeks and Bangladesh seems poised to enter a phase of political uncertainty.”
Anandabazar, India’s most widely-read Bengali daily, reported Monday under the headline “Death toll rises to 19; victory Hasina’s” that the Jatiya Party would be sitting in opposition in the country’s next parliament, and that much of the violence that was seen on election day was the work of Jamaat-Shibir activists.
It concluded by saying the election had everything, “except voters’ enthusiasm”.
Many Indian media outlets carried the report of the state news agency the Press Trust of India, which said the Awami League was “set to form the next government after securing over three-fourth majority in the controversial polls marred by deadly clashes, a low turnout and a boycott by Opposition parties”.
The PTI report also said “in legal terms the election was legitimate but the Opposition boycott and low turnout cast a shadow on its credibility”.
The Times of India reported that “deadly violence flared across the country despite tens of thousands of security personnel deployed to maintain law and order”, adding that most voters had preferred to stay home and not vote in the election described by the international community as “flawed”.
The Indian Express, the Hindu, and the Hindustan Times on Monday were all carrying the PTI report.

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