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Go for soul-searching

PM suggests BNP

WT24 Desk

Mentioning several reasons behind BNP’s defeat in the recent general election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday suggested the party to go for soul-searching to know what has caused its debacle, Agencies report.

“What’s the reason behind the failure of BNP in this election? I would like to tell BNP that the party itself will have to think about it,” she said while addressing a discussion in the city.

Awami League (AL) arranged the discussion at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh marking the historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

AL President Sheikh Hasina chaired the discussion.

Noting that BNP has no practice of politics, the Prime Minister questioned how those whose policy is to resort to corruption, terrorism, militancy, money laundering, embezzling the money of orphans, killing people through arson violence can desire to win the election.

Hasina said BNP also committed misdeeds indulging in arson violence in 2013, 2014 and 2015. “Those who’ve failed in the movement can never be successful in election and it has been proved in the 2018 polls,” she said.

“They couldn’t be successful in their attempt of resisting the election (in 2014) because the people of Bangladesh resisted them siding with us,” she said, adding that BNP tried to resist the polls unleashing arson violence in 2013 and 2014.

Sheikh Hasina said BNP also tried to topple the government by killing people through arson attacks in 2015. “People couldn’t accept it. So, people resisted them… their blockade (enforced by the party in 2015) has yet to be withdrawn. It still continues.”

About BNP’s nomination trade, she said, “How could those who make such nomination trade or put it (nomination) on auction expect that they would win?”

The Prime Minister said BNP did not give nomination to Enam Ahmed Chowdhury of Sylhet, Ataur Rahman Khan’s son Ziaur Rahman of Dhamrai, Taimur Alam Khandaker of Narayanganj and Morshed Khan of Chattogram due to nomination business though they had good prospects to come out victorious in the election. “If anyone wants to talk to bhaiya (Tarique Rahman who is staying in London) who frequently changes his mobile phone number because he has to make payment in pound (UK currency),” she said.

Alongside the nomination trade, Hasina said, the people did not cast their votes for BNP as it gave nomination to 25 Jamaat-e-Islami men.

She said the people of Bangladesh believe in the spirit of the Liberation War and they never cast votes for the war criminals.

The Prime Minister also criticised BNP for making a fugitive convict as its acting chairman after Khaleda Zia was sent to jail being convicted of embezzling the money of orphans.

Pointing at those who want to raise questions over the voter turnout rate in the election, she said the voter turnout of the 2008 general election was higher than that of the 2018 election. “If you draw a comparison between the two elections, you’ll see more votes were cast in 2008. Now, many write and talk many things.”

According to the Election Commission statistics, the voter turnout was 87.13 percent in the 2008 election while that was some 80 percent in the 2018 election.

The Prime Minister said it is only Awami League which governs the country following the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman when it is in power.

Bangabandhu upgraded the war-ravaged Bangladesh to a least developed country within only three and half years and Bangladesh had first marked over 7 percent economic growth during his tenure.

AL Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, its general secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Presidium members Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP, and Abdul Matin Khasru, MP, joint general secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif, MP, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahmam, organising secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AL Dhaka north city unit’s president AKM Rahmatullah, MP, and AL Dhaka south city unit’s general secretary Shah-e Alam Murad also spoke on the occasion.

Party publicity and publication secretary and Information Minister Mohammad Hasan Mahmud and deputy publicity secretary Aminul Islam jointly conducted the discussion.

On January 10, 1972, Bangabandhu returned to independent Bangladesh via London and New Delhi after 290 days of captivity in a Pakistan jail.

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