Sheikh Hasina’s challenges could begin after the polls

The deck of the Padma bridge is as smooth as the perfect rasgullas from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s constituency, Gopalganj. The 6.15km bridge, which connects the 21 districts of the country’s southwest with Dhaka via road and rail, is the shiny future that Bangladesh wants. Below the bridge, quiet flows the Padma―silver, sprawling and statuesque. The sky is a soft December grey, and the bridge, a sweep of steel across the wide river, stands proudly as proof of Hasina’s ability to pull off the impossible. It was her dream project, and she did not flinch even when the World Bank withdrew funding from the $4 billion project, alleging corruption. The charges were never proven. The bridge which was inaugurated in 2022 has become a symbol of Bangladesh’s self-sufficiency and resilience, and, of course, brand Hasina.

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