People to vote for AL this time too: Prime Minister
Published : 03 May 2018, 11:34
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the people of Bangladesh will surely vote in favour of Awami League this time too if they do not want to push the country to the path of destruction like in 2001.
“You saw BNP, after assuming office in 2001, had pushed the country to the path of destruction…if they (people) don’t want to push the country to the path of destruction again as in 2001, they’ll definitely cast their votes for Awami League and the party will come to power again,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while briefing the media at her official residence Ganobhaban about the outcomes of her just-concluded visits to Saudi Arabia, the UK and Australia. She visited Saudi Arabia and the UK from April 15 to 23 while Australia from April 26 to 29.
Responding to a question whether the government would take any initiative to bring BNP to the election, she said a democratic system is there in Bangladesh and it will be the absolute decision of a political party whether it will participate in the election or not.
“I cannot impose my decision on any party…, I cannot say to any party that you’ve to participate in the election,” she said.
Hasina mentioned that BNP did not participate in the 2014 election and they tried to resist the election through vandalism and killings.
“About winning the upcoming election, I’ll purely rely on the verdict of people. If they (people) think the development spree of the country should continue, then they’ll cast their votes for the ‘Boat’, and we’ll be there in power again,” she said.
About BNP’s demand to release Khaleda Zia from jail, Hasina said it was not she who sent Khaleda Zia to jail. “The court pronounced its verdict. It won’t work placing demand to me, she [Khaleda] went there as per the course of law. They (BNP) have to fight back as per the course of law to free her from there,” she said.
The Prime Minister criticised the ‘big’ lawyers of BNP who failed to prove that Khaleda did not embezzle money from an orphanage trust.
Replying to a question about bringing back BNP acting chairperson Tarique Rahman from London, Hasina said the government will surely try to bring him back as a convicted criminal. "He’s a convicted criminal… we’re in talks with the British government…we’ll surely bring back a convicted criminal, and for that we’ll carry out the necessary process as per the law."
The Prime Minister also mentioned that an FBI agent had also been a witness in the case about the criminal activities that Tarique Rahman committed.
She said Tarique has been convicted in two cases and there are some other cases pending with courts.
Hasina mentioned the ten-truck arms smuggling case, money laundering case, various types of criminal activities like arson attacks and killings.
She also ridiculed BNP for its political bankruptcy to select a criminal like Tarique as its acting chairman who has surrendered his Bangladeshi passport to the British government seeking political asylum. "Didn’t they’ve any other capable leader for this particular post?"
About the economic pressure on Bangladesh for over a million Rohingyas living in the country, the Prime Minister admitted that there will be a pressure.
"For that, we’ve taken a Tk-2500 crore project…we’ve already started the work, we’re getting support and cooperation from all. So, there’ll be no big problem for us," she said adding, “The people of Bangladesh are well-known for their hospitality and humanity…I don't think we’ve to face huge pressure for it."
The Prime Minister, however, admitted that all are coming up with their assistance as the issue is still at the initial stage. "But, it’ll come down in the course of time and then the pressure will be mounted on us. We’re taking preparations gradually to face that situation."
She said the ultimate target of the government is to repatriate the Rohingyas to their homeland, Myanmar, as quick as possible.
About the recent visit of the UNSC team to Bangladesh, she said they are very much positive about the Rohingyas and their repatriation as some UNSC permanent members also expressed their willingness to construct homes for the Rohingyas after their repatriation to Myanmar.
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