Dhaka, Dec 18 (UNB) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the High Court order that stayed the candidature of BNP candidate M Rashiduzzaman Millat from Jamalpur-1.
The seven-member bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed ‘no order’ after hearing on an appeal filed by Millat against the HC order.
Now, he will not be able to contest the election, said his lawyer barrister Abdullah AL Mamun.
The Election Commission allowed his candidacy after his nomination was rejected by returning officer.
Later, Awami League candidate and former information Minister Abul Kalam Azad challenged his candidature at the High Court as Millat was convicted in a corruption case.
Following his writ, the HC stayed his candidature on Dec 13.
Dhaka, Dec 18 (UNB) – Bangladesh Awami League on Tuesday unveiled its 21-point manifesto for the upcoming 11th parliamentary elections promising to ensure urban facilities in every village and use the potentials of youths for the progress of the country with the slogan - ‘Bangladesh on the march towards prosperity’.
AL President Sheikh Hasina read out the summary of the election manifesto at a function held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.
The manifesto focuses on 33 sectors to work under two strategic plans for making Bangladesh a hunger- and poverty- free country, and educated and secular nation.
Hasina said if Awami League is voted to power, it will further strengthen the ongoing process of institutionalising democracy while initiatives will be taken to make Parliament more effective.
“At the same time, efforts will continue to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, media and judiciary,” she said.
“If we’re voted to power, we’ll undertake and implement programmes aimed at turning villages into townships. The facilities of towns will reach the villages. In the next five years, electricity will be provided to every house. All the villages of the country will be connected with upazila/zila through pucca roads,” said Hasina.
“If we come to power, we’ll create employment opportunities for 1.28 crore people in the next five years. Employment opportunities for 1,000 youths from each upazila will be created outside the country,” she added.
Alongside ensuring universal human rights, any attempt to trample the human rights will be prevented while efforts to ensure the independence and effectiveness of the National Human Rights Commission will continue, she said.
Hasina said work on building a modern, technology-based, skilled, corruption-free patriot mass-oriented administration will continue, and transparency, accountability, fairness and service of the administration will be ensured.
The AL chief said the campaign against militancy, drugs and corruption will continue.
“We’ll take a zero-tolerance policy against corruption. Apart from strengthening the Anti-Corruption Commission, public awareness programme against the menace will be strengthened. Besides, steps will be taken to bring corruption to zero level utilising ICT.”
The highest priority will be given to uprooting terrorism, extortion and land-grabbing, she said.
About the decentralisation of power, Hasina said UP, upazila and zila parishads, pourasava and city corporations have been strengthened through decentralisation of power and the process will further be strengthened. “If we come to power, more financial and administrative authorities will be decentralised to local government bodies. The government’s assistance and efforts will continue to widen and improve civic amenities.”
She vowed to increase the GDP growth to 10 percent in the next five years while the per capita income of the people of Bangladesh will be over US$ 5,479 in 2030.
Hasina also said the scope for education of children in a better environment will be ensured where potable water and improved sanitation will be ensured. Infrastructures for healthy entertainment and sports will be built.
“For employment, mills and factories will be built at zila/upazila levels. Internet and modern technologies will be spread all over the country,” the AL chief said.
About the utilisation of youths in making prosperity for the country, she said Bangladesh Awami League is committed to building an organised, disciplined and production-oriented youth force.
Hasina said an integrated database for less educated, medium educated and higher educated youths will be prepared at the national level.
“We’re providing up to Tk 2 lakh collateral-free loan through Karmasangsthan Bank to increase entrepreneurship and self-employment. In the future, the facilities will be widened.”
For ensuring a healthy entertainment for youths, she said, an entertainment centre will be built at each upazila and a youth sports complex at each district.
She also promised to reduce child marriage to near zero.
Mentioning that 4.92 crore people are now getting various financial assistance under the social safety net programme, Hasina said, “In the next five years, the number will be doubled and the amount of assistance will also be increased. The poverty rate will be decreased to 12.3 percent and that of extreme poverty to 5 percent.”
She also said the regular income for at least one member of a family will be ensured.
“A modern industrial city will be built on the banks of the Padma River, while an IT park will be established in each divisional city employing a huge number of youths in the next five years,” the AL president said.
She said all the basic rights of workers will be protected and a four-month maternity leave with full salary for female workers will be materialised. “A rationing system for all workers, hardcore poor and rural landless farm labourers will be introduced.”
Hasina said the highest budget allocation will be ensured for the education sector and all-out steps will be taken for improving the standard of education.
She said under one-year children and citizens over 65 years will get free health services.
The ruling party chief said bullet train services between Dhaka and divisional cities will be introduced. In the next five years, a 10,000km waterway will be brought under dredging.
The four rivers around Dhaka will be re-excavated and a new international airport will be set up while the existing domestic and international airports will be modernised.
A tunnel will be constructed under the Jamuna River to ease communication with northern region, she said. “If we’re voted to power, we’ll introduce 5G mobile network service by 2021-23. The price of internet and mobile usage will be reduced to a reasonable level.”
To face the climate change impacts, Hasina announced to increase the size of the productive forest from 13.14 percent in 2015 to 20 percent.
“Special steps will be taken to preserve the memories of the Liberation War throughout the country, prevent the distortion of history and protect the genuine one,“ said the AL chief.
She said Bangladesh will be built with a non-communal spirit. “There’ll be no law against Quraan and Sunnah.”
“All kinds of laws and systems that are discriminatory towards ethnic minorities and ethnic groups will be scrapped,” Hasina said.
She also said the news media which are loyal to social commitments will be promoted from the government side. “Investigative journalism will be inspired and necessary training for journalists will be ensured. The security of journalists and media staff will be ensured for their professional duties. Media-friendly acts will be formulated. There’ll be no misuse of any law against journalists and mass media.”
About the Delta Plan 2100, she mentioned that the government has taken the 100-year plan to face the challenges of climate change to achieve the desired development of the country. “This plan will be helpful to attain the status of the middle-income country by 2030 and a developed one by 2041. The Delta Plan 2100 will create bondage among short- mid- and long-term planning.”
Hasina said Awami League does not believe in words but in deeds. “The commitment of this time, we will ensure sustainable investment and inclusive development.”
She mentioned that it is clear as daylight that the people of Bangladesh get something when Awami League government runs the country. Opportunities and potential of livelihoods and welfare of general people are created.
“To err is human. There may be mistakes from my part or my colleagues while discharging duties. I, on behalf of my own and the party, would like to request the country’s people to forgive the mistakes,” she said.
Hasina appealed to the country’s people to cast their votes in favour of Awami League and ensure its victory on December 30.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, convener of the manifesto preparing committee and Awami League presidium member Dr Abdur Razzak also spoke on the occasion.
Barishal, Dec 17 (UNB) – At least 30 people including journalists were injured in separate attacks allegedly carried out by ruling party men on groups of canvassers for BNP in Barishal and Savar.
The motorcade of BNP candidate for Barishal – 2 (Banaripara-Ujirpur) constituency was attacked at Daberkul in the upazila of Ujirpur.
Abdul Majed Talukdar, chief election convener of BNP Sardar Sharfuddin Ahmed Santu, alleged that ruling party men swooped on them while they were on their way to attend a meeting at Borakata union. The attack that left ‘dozens’ of their workers injured occurred at noon.
The attackers were heard chanting slogans associated with AL during the attack, Talukder said.
Meanwhile, AL candidate Shahe Alam not only denied the allegations against his men of carrying out the attack, rather he came up with some allegations of his own against the BNP men.
Officer- in-Charge of Ujirpur Model Police Station Shoshir Kumar Pal denied any knowledge any such incident.
In Savar, 10 members of BNP were injured as local AL supporters attacked them during the campaign at Hijla area of Aminbazar around 11:30 am.
Witnesses said the the initial attack contributed to a clash between the groups while a chase counter chase took place between them.
During the agitation three motorcycles and four cars belonging to BNP supporters were vandalised.
In-charge of Aminbazar Police outpost Jamal Hossain said they arrested four BNP supporters from the spot “to control the situation.”
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) - Oikyafront's pledges in its election manifesto to continue the trial for war criminals and end corruption are like a joke to the nation, said joint general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Abdur Rahman on Monday.
The AL leader made the remarks at a press briefing held at the party President’s Dhanmondi political office.
Oikyafront rolled out its 14-point election manifesto with various promises, including ensuring the continuation of the trial for war criminals and carrying out investigations into the corruption incidents that took place under the current government and will bring those responsible for graft to justice.
Abdur Rahman said, "They’ve paved the way for more than 23 successors of war criminals to participate in the election under the symbol of Sheaf of Paddy as war criminals have been sheltered by the Dr Kamal-led alliance. So, when they say they’ll continue the trial of war criminals, it's not only a matter of joke but also an inconceivable thing.”
“Who has given shelter to the war criminals and nominated them? How will they stand against these war criminals? So, it’s nothing but fudge,” Rahman said.
The Awami League joint general secretary also claimed that Oikyafront is misleading the nation through a confusing manifesto to attract the voters.
Abdur Rahman said, “Tareque Zia is guilty of corruption. When Khaleda Zia was in power, he had earned a lot though corruption. Even Khaleda Zia is also guilty of corruption. The country’s people never believe they’ll ensure a corruption-free society. “
Rahman went on to say, “Dr Kamal has proved they’re making a plan of foiling the election. I would like to tell those who are plotting to foil the election that the election will be held on December 30 at any cost.”
About the pre-election violence, Abdur Rahman said, “Our party men were not engaged in attacking the opponents and vandalising anyone’s campaign office. Angry leaders and activists of BNP are attacking their leaders over their nomination trade. But, they’re trying to put the responsibility on our shoulder to foil the election.”
Another joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, organizing secretary Ahmad Hossain, BM Mozammel Haque, AFM Bahauddin Nasim and central committee member Anwar Hossain were present at the press conference.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) - Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday said their alliance will remain there in the election race until the last, no matter what adversities it faces.
Dr Kamal made the remark at a press briefing at Nirbachan Bhaban here after a two-and-half hour meeting with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda.
"If the government thinks we’ll boycott the election amid its ongoing tricks, that’s wrong. It won’t happen. Even if I die, the alliance won’t boycott the election. My body will be carried to polling station, if necessary, to vote," Dr Kamal said.
The Oikyafront chief further said, "The election must take place. If they think that ugly attacks will emotionally make us to surrender and boycott the election, they are wrong.”
Dr Kamal said they will try their best so that their demands are granted by the Election Commission.
He, however, alleged that the commission is not fully exercising the power given to it.
Leaders of Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal, went to the Election Commission to meet the CEC in the afternoon.
The team reached the Nirbachan Bhaban around 1:30pm.
The other leaders are MirzaFakhrul Islam Alamgir, ASM Abdur Rob, MahmudurRahman Manna, Dr Abdul MoyeenKhan, Nazrul Islam Khan, MostafaMohsinMontu and KhairulKabirKhokon.
Dr Kamal said, "We’ve informed the commission that we’ve received countless complaints from across the country that this election is all about muscle power."
He said their candidates and supporters are being attacked constantly while no one of them can raise voice in their constituencies.
The Oikyafront chief said a reign of terror has been established to discourage other candidates which he has never witnessed in his 55 years of election experience.
He told the reporters that they informed the EC about violent crimes against them, including attack in Mirpur. "The CEC said they had felt embarrassed, but embarrassment won't do unless effective actions are taken."
Mentioning the power vested upon the EC he said, "As per the Constitution, the EC holds the power to control law enforcement agencies and order administration to ensure people's rights."
"No opposition candidate is getting any chance for electioneering. Have you seen any other party's poster instead of a particular one’s? If you ever see please inform me so that I can also see," he said.
Dr Kamal said as long as he is alive he will keep demanding that the election right of people which was attained at the cost of martyrs' blood be ensured.
Oikyafront thinks that necessary actions regarding the attack on them in Mirpur should be taken within the day after tomorrow.
Kamal urged the reporters to ask the Commission why it is not using the constitutional power vested upon it.
ASM Abdur Rob said Oikyafront urged the EC to deploy army from today.