BJP chief Amit Shah did not phone Zia: Awami League

Ruling Awami League has termed as a lie a claim by Bangladesh Nationalist Party that BJP president Amit Shah had telephoned the besieged opposition leader Khaleda Zia to enquire about her health.

Dhaka: Ruling Awami League has termed as a lie a claim by Bangladesh Nationalist Party that BJP president Amit Shah had telephoned the besieged opposition leader Khaleda Zia to enquire about her health.

"We have information that the BJP chief did not telephone Khaleda Zia as informed to the media by her party," Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif told reporters yesterday.

"It (the claimed phone call) is nothing but falsehood of BNP which has become bankrupt and politically isolated," he said.

Meanwhile, Bangladeshi media carried comments by unnamed sources in the Indian high commission in Dhaka who said no conversation took place between Shah and Zia "though attempts were taken two times from the BNP office to establish telephone link with the BJP chief".

The BNP chief has been confined to her Gulshan office since Saturday after police cordoned off the area to prevent her from taking part in anti-government protests.

The former prime minister had reportedly fallen sick after police used pepper spray on her supporters inside her office on January 5. Eight persons have been killed in the violence since then.

Zia's press secretary Maruf Kamal Sohel on Thursday said that Shah had called Zia and enquired about her health.

But BNP stick to its claim issuing a statement overnight that the conversation between their chief and the BJP president took place.

"We want to firmly inform all again that the information given to the media yesterday is fully correct... BJP chief Amit Shah has been informed directly about the wellbeing of Begum Khaleda Zia," the statement signed by Zia's press secretary read.

The statement said it was strange that "some media outlets wanted to create controversy by quoting anonymous sources, instead of BJP's high command".  

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