Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran met opposition leader Raushan Ershad and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday.
The Indian envoy had a 45-minute meeting with Jatiya Party Presidium Member Raushan at her Gulshan residence when he congratulated her on her becoming the leader of the opposition in parliament, said JP sources.
However, neither of the sides talked to reporters about the meeting.
The JP has emerged as the main opposition party in the 10th parliament through a one-sided election on January 5, which was boycotted by the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance and some other political parties.
In a dramatic move, JP Chairman HM Ershad on December 3 last year had announced to quit the polls race alleging that there was no atmosphere for a free, fair and inclusive election.
The following day, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had a meeting with Ershad and requested the JP chief to contest the polls to thwart the rise of militant and fundamentalist groups in the country, Ershad told newsmen.
The JP finally took part in the polls and won 33 seats, 20 of them uncontested.
Pankaj Saran held a meeting with Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office. The meeting was underway at 9:00pm.
BNP Vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, party chief's advisers Reaz Rahman, Osman Faruk and Sabihuddin Ahmed assisted Khaleda during the meeting.
India was first to congratulate Sheikh Hasina for being elected the prime minister of Bangladesh for a third term.
After the meeting, BNP Vice-chairman Shamser Mobin Chowdhury told reporters that the Indian envoy told Khaleda, "The Indian government will be with the government which reflects the hopes and aspirations of the Bangladesh people. India wants the people of Bangladesh to be able to elect the government according to their will."
Khaleda Zia told the Indian envoy that Bangladesh would maintain good relations with all countries on the basis of mutual respect, Shamser added.
According to Shamsher, Pankaj Saran remembered the BNP government's relations with India in the past and hoped it would be stronger if the BNP came to power again.