Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader, MP on Tuesday urged the government to take immediate steps for procuring coronavirus vaccines from alternative sources if there is any problem to collect it from India in time.
“Contact alternative manufacturers if a coronavirus vaccine is not available from India in time as per the agreement (with Serum Institute),” he said.
GM Quader also said the government must make sincere efforts to save the people of the country from the pandemic by bringing the vaccine as soon as possible. “The people of the country are eagerly waiting for the corona vaccine.”
He made the remarks while exchanging views with the leaders of Cummila district and city units at Jatiya Party Chairman’s Banani office.
The Jatiya Party chief also said the government will have to ensure a free corona vaccine for the people of the country, no matter what.
He said Awami League is governing the country with bureaucrats as it is not there in politics now.
Besides, GM Quader said, it is difficult for BNP to survive in politics since its chairperson has been released from jail giving a bond while party acting chairman Tarique Rahman lacks acceptance.
“But Jatiya Party is there in politics with the trust and affection of people. Jatiya Party is now a potential political force,” he observed.
Speaking at the programme, party Secretary General Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu said Jatiya Party is the only party that has a tradition of ensuring development and good governance in the country.
“That’s why people want to go back to the rule of Jatiya Party and they’re eagerly waiting to vote for the ‘Plough’, the election symbol of the Jatiya Party,” he observed.
Also read: No business over Covid vaccine: GM Quader
Bablu called upon the leaders and workers of their party to work sincerely for strengthening the organisational capacity of Jatiya Party.
BNP has decided to mark the seventh anniversary of the 10th parliament election day-- January 5, 2014--by hoisting flags at its offices across the country on Tuesday.
Besides, BNP leaders and activists will wear black badges on the day to register the party’s protest against that ‘unilateral’ election.
Party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programme at a press conference at its Nayapaltan central office on Monday.
Also read:BNP to join all upcoming polls: Fakhrul
"BNP will hoist black flags tomorrow (Tuesday) to commemorate with hatred the stigmatised chapter of capturing power through a unilateral voter-less parliamentary election that held on January 5, 2014 ignoring the demands of people amid the boycott by all political parties,” he said.
Rizvi said their party leaders and workers will wear black badges the same day protesting that election.
Most registered political parties, including BNP, boycotted the 10th parliamentary election as it was held under a partisan government, annulling the caretaker government system following a court order.
However, Awami League and its political allies joined the election in which 153 MPs out of 300 seats got elected uncontested.
BNP together with some other parties formed Jatiya Oikyafront under the leadership of Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain and joined the 11th parliamentary election on December 30, 2018, but suffered a massive debacle.
The Jatiya Oikyafront leaders turned down the election results by bringing the allegation of vote ‘rigging’ and ‘night-time ballot stuffing’, but their eight MPs took oath as the member of 11th parliament.
On December 30 last, BNP staged demonstrations across the country, marking the second anniversary of the 11th parliamentary election. They observed the day as the ‘stigmatised black day’.
Meanwhile, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir issued a statement describing January 5, 2014 as an unprecedented black chapter of killing democracy in Bangladesh as part of a move to revive one-party Baksal rule.
“The spirit of that election was completely contrary to the main spirit of the Liberation War, democracy and the freedom of citizens,” he observed.
Fakhrul said people are now getting united to ‘restore’ democracy and they may create a mass wave on the street anytime.
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The second death anniversary of Syed Ashraful Islam, former general secretary Awami League and public administration minister, was observed in the city on Sunday.
Family members laid floral tributes at the Awami League leader’s grave in Dhaka’s Banani in the morning.
Special prayers were arranged for Ashraf who was the son of Mujibnagar government’s acting president Syed Nazrul Islam.
Also read:Dr Kamal mourns Syed Ashraf's death
And Awami League leaders and activists paid tribute to him through discussions, remembrances, and floral tributes.
Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam paid homage to Ashraf by placing flowers at his grave.
Also read: People loved Syed Ashraf: Minister Mozammel
At that time, the minister said: “Syed Ashraf, rose above all greed and worked for the people with sound moral and ethical principles. “He will remain an idol to Bangladeshi politicians.”
Ashraf, who stood by his party through thick and thin, had been suffering from lung cancer for long.
He died at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, aged 68, on January 3 in 2019.
His death came just four days after he was elected lawmaker from Kishoreganj-1. Before that, Ashraf was elected member of parliament from the same constituency in 1996, 2001, 2008 and 2014.
The 4th phase polls to 56 municipalities in different districts will be held on February 14 as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission on Sunday.
Also read: 3rd phase polls to 64 municipalities Jan 30
The deadline for submission of nomination papers is January 17, said EC Joint Secretary (Public Relations) SM Asaduzzaman.
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According to the schedule, the date for scrutiny of nomination papers is January 19 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 26, he said.
Among the 56 municipalities, the polls to 31 ones will be held with the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), while that to 25 others with the use of traditional ballot papers.
The first phase election to 24 municipalities was held on December 28, while the second phase election to 61 municipalities will be held on January 16 and the third phase polls to 64 municipalities on January 30.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday demanded the government make its roadmap on the coronavirus vaccine collection and distribution public immediately.
"The Health Minister yesterday (Saturday) said the vaccine would cost Tk 426. It’s still not clear whether the government or people will pay this price,” he said.
The BNP leader said, “We demand that a comprehensive roadmap on how the vaccine will be collected, distributed, how many people will be vaccinated and the price of the vaccine be immediately presented by the government before the country’s people.”
Mirza Fakhrul came up with the demanded at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
He said they came to know that a list of high-profile people has already been prepared for providing the vaccine. “We’ve received news that members of different clubs, including Gulshan Club, Dhaka Club Uttara Club, are being listed. We’ve also heard that the arrangement has been made for the vaccination of ministers and the high-ranking government officials.”
The BNP leader said they still did not get any specific statement from any office of the government about how and when the general people will get the vaccine.
He said their party thinks the common people should be given the vaccine free of cost.
Fakhrul said the government should properly inform people about when the vaccine will reach Bangladesh.
He said private pharmaceutical company Beximco will bring the Oxford vaccine to Bangladesh from the Serum Institute of India. “But it has to be made clear to people as to why Beximco is purchasing the vaccine instead of the government.”
"Does Beximco have a commission here? We want to know how much commission Beximco may get? How much price will have to pay for it? Why’s the government giving money to the Serum Institute through Beximco Pharmaceuticals? Why isn't the government itself giving it to the Serum Institute?” Fakhrul questioned.
He said people have the right to know why a private company is engaged with the vaccine procurement drive when the government itself can do it. “Is it happening as he (Beximco owner) is an adviser to the government?
The BNP leader expressed doubt about the government’s information on the daily corona infection and death rates. “As per government data, 5,15,184 people were infected while 7,519 died as of Saturday. “We’ve repeatedly been saying this information is not correct. Many people are dying at home, but they’re not reporting and going to hospitals.”
He said the real corona situation is not made clear as the government is unable to ensure adequate testing facilities. “We think it's a gross negligence."
Fakhrul demanded the government present the right information about the death and infection of the deadly virus.
He said their party formed a committee on coronavirus which will provide the nation necessary direction and information regarding the vaccine collection and its distribution.
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