Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the nation to stay alert so the “looters and arsonists” could not grab the state power again as she addressed her Awami League’s National Committee ahead of the party’s national council later this month.
“This is my call to the nation,” she said as members of Awami League Advisory Council, Central Working Committee, presidents and general secretaries of its organizational districts rallied at her official Ganabhaban residence this afternoon.
Sheikh Hasina added the arsonists and grenade attackers, looters of orphans’ money, interest mongers and bribe-takers must not be allowed to come to power again.
She said the country always moved forward when Awami League was in office and urged all to review what the nation actually achieved when others like Ziaur Rahman and his wife Khaleda Zia were in the helm of affairs.
“The country had rather turned into a land of terrorism, militancy, corruption, and famine whenever BNP was in power,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also described now imprisoned BNP chief and ex-premier Khaleda Zia as the “godfather of terrorism” referring to the protracted nationwide violent street campaigns spearheaded by the party and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami in 2014 and 2015.
“No terrorism could be as worse than the indiscriminate killing of innocent people through arson attacks,” she said recalling that as many as 500 people including policemen were killed and over 3,000 were injured in those attacks.
Reiterating her firm commitment to conduct the ongoing drive against terrorism, Sheikh Hasina said the drive against terrorism must be continued to reap the benefits of massive development carried out by her government.
The BNP chief and Tarique Rahman were involved in looting money, the premier said bitterly criticising Khaleda Zia for plundering money of orphans, adding they patronised the acts of terrorism and corruption.
“Khaleda Zia herself and her son embezzled money of orphans,” she said, adding that they did not want the welfare of the people as Khaleda Zia after assuming office made their fortunes through misuse of power.
Referring to the BNP’s movement in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the premier said 0they burnt people to death carrying out attacks on buses, launches and trains to foil the parliamentary polls, as they knew that the people will not vote for them.
“BNP knows that they will not come to power as per the forecast of foreign surveys. So, they did business with giving nomination to three people against each constituency in the name of taking part in the national election of 2018,” she said.
The AL president also mentioned that BNP after assuming office in 2001 ran countrywide mayhem.
Slamming BNP for patronising the militancy and terrorism, the premier gave a hint that Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman were involved in the grenade attack on August 21, 2004.
Stating that Ziaur Rahman was involved in the killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15 in 1975, she termed Zia, Khaleda and Tarique as killers.
The prime minister said she didn’t know why people are shedding crocodile tears over the treatment of a corrupt person like Khaleda Zia, who killed several hundreds of people by carrying out arson attacks.
Referring to killing of the people particularly Awami League leaders and activists in the name of ‘clean heart’ operation during the BNP-Jamaat regime and giving indemnity to the killers, she said, “Khaleda Zia gave legality to murders following the footstep of her husband.”
In this context, the premier said Ziaur Rahman killed thousands of people, including army and air force officials, while he was in power and passed an indemnity bill to save the killers of Bangabandhu.
The premier stated that Bangladesh is now considered as the miracle of development for the massive development works carried out by the Awami League government.
The premier once again vowed to make Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country free from poverty and hunger as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Awami League Advisory Council Members – Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Amir Hossain Amu, MP, and Tofail Ahmed, MP, it’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader, it’s Presidium Members – Begum Matia Chowdhury, MP, Mohammad Nasim, MP, Kazi Zafar Ullah, Nurul Islam Nahid, MP, Dr Md Abdur Razzak, MP, Lt. Col. (Retd.)
Muhammad Faruq Khan MP, Ramesh Chandra Sen, MP, Adv. Sahara Khatun, MP, Pijush Kanti Bhattacharya, Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, MP, Adv. Abdul Mannan Khan, and Adv. Abdul Matin Khasru, MP, and Senior Executive Member Abul Hasnat Abdullah, MP, among others, were present on the dais.
The other senior leaders of the Awami League and district committees were also present on the occasion.
Mentioning that the ruling Awami League doesn’t believe in the politics of vengeance, the premier said Khaleda Zia is in jail for embezzling money of orphans and the caretaker government had lodged the case.
“We have set an example in the world to give Khaleda Zia maidservant in jail. There is no such example in the world,” she said.
Regarding the BNP’s chairperson’s health condition, Sheikh Hasina said that Khaleda Zia has long been suffering from a knee problem.
In this context, she said that Khaleda Zia went under the knee cup surgery in the USA after assuming office in 1991 and she later went through the same treatment later in Saudi Arabia.
The premier, however, greeted the countrymen for not forgetting the miserable misrules of BNP-Jamaat clique during their regimes and did not vote for them in the 2008 election.
“BNP got only 29 seats in the 2008 election due to their misrule and many people now forget this matter,” she said.
She questioned the party which bagged only 29 seats in 2008 elections and involved in killing and arson attacks how they could expect that the people will vote for them and put them in the power again.
Regarding BNP’s boycott of 2014 national elections, Sheikh Hasina said that the aim of BNP was to put barricade on the ongoing democratic process of the country which they always do.
“They never believe in the power of people and democracy,” she opined.
Spelling out various development programs taken by her government, the Prime Minister said that Awami League always works for the welfare of the people and for the country.
“Awami League is in the power means the development of the people and the country as well, “she said.
The premier also said that her government, the party, mission abroad and various organizations will celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and Golden Jubilee of the Independence of the country.
To celebrate the events, the government has announced March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021 as the Mujib Barsha.