PM tells Khaleda
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a televised speech has called on the agitating BNP-led alliance to eschew violence. She has advised her bitter political rival, BNP chief Khaleda Zia, to focus on rebuilding her party.
“The path you’re (Khaleda) walking will not usher in peace. You’ll lose the people’s support,” Hasina said in an address to the nation on Monday.
She spoke on the first anniversary of the last general elections that put her Awami League and allies in power for a second successive time.
The BNP-led alliance stayed away from the polls and has since been pressing for a snap election.
Hasina said sitting out the polls was Khaleda’s “political mistake”.
“Why should the people pay for it?” she asked.
Police on Monday the locked gates of Khaleda’s Gulshan office as she tried to get out and join agitations on the polls anniversary.
Khaleda has announced a nonstop blockade of highways, railways and waterways.
Awami League President Hasina urged the BNP chief to refrain from “sabotage, violence and killing people”.
“The people want security, peace and development,” she reminded her rival.
The prime minister said her government wanted to establish such political practices that would benefit the people.
“Tell them (the people) your (Khaleda) plans for socio-economic development. Rebuild your party.
“Only then, you may have a chance in future,” Hasina said.
She alleged a vested quarter, who did not believe in Bangladesh, was plotting to derail the war crimes trials.
Most of the war crimes convicts are from BNP’s ally Jamaat-e-Islami.
Hasina recalled how the BNP-Jamaat combine had unleashed a reign of terror to thwart the Jan 5 polls and save the war criminals.
She said they cut down trees, killed hundreds of people, including 20 members of law-enforcing agency.
They uprooted rail tracks, destroyed trains and burnt the Quran.
On the election day, the BNP-Jamaat activists torched 582 schools and killed 26 people, including a presiding officer, she said.
“After the election, they attacked and torched houses of a religious minority and Awami League supporters.”
She blamed Khaleda for not taking part in the poll-time government, saying her party was ready to make considerations within the constitutional purview.
“The BNP-Jamaat alliance wanted to create anarchy and instability to occupy power through the backdoor.
“But the people did not fall to their trap,” the prime minister added.