Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said that BNP drafted the recent statement of 42 eminent citizens on the Election Commission (EC).
"We saw yesterday that 42 personalities of the country gave a statement about the Election Commission. I would like to say with utmost respect that all those persons are known as pro-BNP. Some of them are advisors to the BNP chairperson," the minister said.
The minister made the comments while addressing a discussion meeting at an auditorium of the Jatiya Press Club (JPC) in the capital, organised by Progotishil National Awami Party-Progotishil NAP (Bhashani) marking the 140th birth anniversary of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani.
Forty-two distinguished citizens recently urged the president to constitute Supreme Judicial Council to investigate allegations of corruption and other misconduct against the EC.
In a letter to President Md Abdul Hamid on December 14, they said the SJC should be formed under the Article 96 of the Bangladesh Constitution.
The signatories include Prof Serajul Islam Chowdhury, M Hafizuddin Khan, Dr Akbar Ali Khan, Advocate Sultana Kamal, Ali Imam Mazumder, Dr Hameeda Hossain, Prof Moinul Islam, Khushi Kabir, Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, Dr Shahdeen Malik, Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Dr Shahidul Alam, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Prof Anu Mohammed, Dr CR Abrar, Prof Tofail Ahmed, Prof Asif Nazrul, Dilip Sarker and Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, among others.
At the beginning of his speech, Minister Hasan Mahmud paid rich tribute to Maulana Bhashani and said he [Bhashani] never did politics for power but for the welfare of the people and the country.
Mentioning that the BNP has been talking against the government regularly, the minister said, "But, the exception is that 42 people got together yesterday. Actually, the draft of the statement was made at the BNP office. Therefore, they have echoed the BNP."
Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, also said if there is any question about the EC, it can be discussed. But the language in which they made the statement and tried to divert people's attention did not seem intelligible to the intellectuals and they have given the statement drafted by BNP, he added.
The minister said debate and criticism will be here, but those should be on what will take the country forward.
"Since the government is in charge, there can be criticism of the government, it is normal. But if the educated people do it in the way of BNP's blind criticism, then the common people may wonder why these educated persons are suddenly talking like uneducated people!" he also said.
Jatiya Party Presidium Member Shahidur Rahman Tepa, Barrister Shamim Haider Patwari MP, and Bangladesh Gana Aazadi League Senior Joint Secretary General Mohammad Sarwar Hossain, addressed the meeting as special guests with Pargatishil Nap (Bhashani) central convener Parash Bhashani in the chair.
Besides, Pragatishil Nap (Bhashani) central member secretary Mohammad Ali Kismat, Mohammad Babul Ahmed, Manirul Hasan Manir, Mowshumi Rahman Minu, Saiful Islam Litan and Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote general secretary Arun Sarker Rana, among others, also addressed the meeting.