Dhaka, Mar 13 (UNB) - Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday said BNP’s politics now has got limited to holding only press conferences.
“BNP leaders are trying to hold anything just to keep the party alive,” said the minister at a discussion titled “Independence and Bangabandhu” organised by Bangabandhu Diploma Engineers Parishad (BDEP) ahead of the 99th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at IDEB Bhaban in the city.
The minister said BNP wants to raise the Ducsu election as a major issue as part of its conspiracy to seize power. “Though their candidates have lost by huge margins, they’re making a fuss about it,” he added.
Expressing satisfaction over the Ducsu polls, Dr Hasan said it is a great achievement for student politics of the country as it was held after 28 years.
He urged the BNP leaders to ‘leave student politics to them’.
The minister commemorated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s contributions towards attaining freedom the country from Pakistan in 1971. “He (Bangabandhu) could easily be one of the key ministers of the Pakistan cabinet, but denied to accept their terms and conditions.”
Hasan Mahmud lauded the current government’s efforts and achievements in taking the country forward in all sectors. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has progressed in all the human indexes,” he said.
Former home minister and chief adviser to BDEP Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir presided over the programme.
Dhaka, Feb 12 (UNB) – BNP on Tuesday alleged that the government is planning to shift its chairperson to another jail from Old Dhaka Central Jail as part of a plot.
“We’re hearing that a plot is on to shift her (Khaleda) to another prison. We would like to say neither we nor people will accept any plot to shift her,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He came up with the remarks at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office following media reports that Khaleda will be moved to Keraniganj Central Jail.
The BNP leader demanded the government immediately release her from jail.
He said they came to know their chairperson’s health condition has deteriorated so badly that she now even cannot properly sit in the wheelchair, let alone moving independently.
“She’s seriously suffering due to her illness. The 74-year-old former Prime Minister has been given a hellish punishment for over the last five months without ensuring treatment of her,” the BNP leader alleged.
He urged the government to refrain from hatching any plot against Khaleda Zia.
The BNP leader warned that the government will be held responsible if anything bad happens to Khaleda.
Rizvi also renewed their party’s demand for admitting the BNP chairperson to United Hospital for her proper treatment.
Dhaka, Mar 11 (UNB) – Deputy Opposition Leader GM Quader on Monday said Jatiya Party is playing the role of a complete opposition picking the best option among three ones to make the Parliament effective and lively.
“I think that there was no alternative available to us for making the Parliament functional and lively as well. What we’ve done is the best,” he told Parliament explaining as to why his party decided to be a “complete opposition” after joining the 11th general election as a part of the Awami League-led grand alliance.
“Complete opposition” denotes that this time JP is not holding any cabinet position while sitting on the opposition benches, unlike in the 10th JS.
GM Quader came up with the explanation participating in the general discussion over thanksgiving motion on the President’s speech in the House. He said Jatiya Party participated in the 11th national election continuing the grand alliance with the Awami League-led 14- party coalition.
BNP and Jatiya Oikyafront were their main competitors in the election, he added. The Deputy Opposition leader said there was a condition that Jatiya Party together with the 14 parties would join the election and form the government together, if elected.
“But we noticed a debacle for our competitors (BNP and Jatiya Oikyafront) in the election results. Their elected representatives are very few in number and their decisions was also uncertain whether they would join the Parliament,” he said adding that the Parliament was constituted with only the grand alliance’s elected MPs.
In this context, there were three options before the Jatiya Party and the grand alliance, he said. The first option was that they might form a ‘national government’ with all parties where there would be no opposition, but it would not be a national government actually as there is no participation of BNP and their Oikyafront in it, he said.
In that case, the Parliament would also be ineffective in absence of the role of opposition in the parliamentary democracy, he added. GM Quader said the second option for Jatiya Party is to play the role of opposition alongside joining the cabinet in small scale like what the party acted during the 10th parliament. But such role normally creates distrust among the people. Besides, the experience of the last parliament said playing the role of opposition alongside taking share in the cabinet would not be acceptable to the people, he said.
The third scope for Jatiya Party was to play the role of a complete opposition and ensure accountability of the government in the parliament. And the Jatiya Party chose the third option, he said. The Jatiya Party leader said the grand alliance leaders reached the decision through discussion, particularly the Prime Minister perfectly realized that Jatiya Party needs to act as the opposition in Parliament.
He also refuted some allegations against Jatiya Party that the party is artificial or fake opposition. “It is said that the opposition has been created artificially. Or they say it is ‘maky’ (fake) opposition,” he said. “It may be slightly true that it was created artificially as we were component of the ruling alliance and we’ve become the opposition through discussion. But Jatiya Party is a party that participated in the election with its own electoral symbol and politics,” he said.
Noting that the Jatiya Party governed the country as well as played the role of the opposition for a long, Quader said, “It can’t be question that we can’t be the opposition separately and we will be maky (fake). If we want to be the opposition, we can do so as we’ve independent politics,” he said.
Placing some recommendations to make the parliament more effective and lively, the Deputy Opposition Leader said the ruling party should treat them as rivals not enemies. “We’re rivals not enemies. You will have to count us as auxiliary force,” Quader said.
Dhaka, Mar 11 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday said people’s unity is a must for ensuring a functional democracy and removing all irregularities from the country.
“There’re representatives of some political parties here, and all are talking about consolidating the unity further. We can fulfill the desires of the country’s 16 crore people and establish a functional democracy only with the strength of unity,” he said.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of Oikyafront’s steering committee at his Motijheel chamber, Dr Kamal further said, “Various evil attempts are being made while people are worried as opposition leaders and activists are being arrested, repressed and attacked. People’s unity is imperative to get rid of such acts and protect people’s rights.”
He said their alliance has continued its efforts to forge a unity of the country’s people.
Dr Kamal said he sees a light of hope about ensuring the rule of law and constitutional rule in the country as people are coming up with a positive response in this regard. “I can say without any confusion that most people, except a few ones, have taken a positive stance in favour of the rule of law and restoring people’s rights.”
About oath taking by Oikyafront MP Sultan Mohammad Mansur, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their meeting strongly denounced his move.
He said Mansur joined a parliament which does not represent people. “He (Mansur) took oath going against the decision of Oikyafront and Gono Forum. We don’t recognise it as a parliament where he joined.”
Fakhrul said their alliance thinks Mansur betrayed the nation by taking oath as an MP of a ‘so-called’ parliament. “We also think he was sworn in illegally against his party’s will. He was not eligible to take oath against his party’s stance.”
He said their alliance will take legal action against Mansur.
On March 7, Sultan Mansur, who was elected MP from Moulvibaza-2 seat with Gono Forum’s ticket in the December-30 election using BNP’s election symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, took oath as an MP.
Hours after he was sworn in, Gono Forum expelled him from the party while Oikyafront relieved him of its steering committee.
BNP along with Gono Forum and some other parties joined the December-30 election in alliance under the banner of Jatiya Oikyafront. BNP bagged six seats while Gono Forum two in the election.
The alliance turned down the election results bringing the allegation of 'massive vote robbery' and decided not to join parliament.
Dhaka, Mar 11 (UNB) – The voter turnout was 43.32 percent in the first phase of the countrywide upazila elections, said Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed on Monday.
“A total of 78 Upazila Parishads went to polls on Sunday, where some 43.32 percent of the voters cast their votes,” he said while talking to reporters at his Nirbachan Bhaban office.
About reported election irregularities, the EC Secretary said the balloting at some polling stations were suspended and now the Commission will take legal actions against those involved in anomalies following investigations.
The polling in 28 election centres was cancelled while three election officers arrested on various grounds during the first phase upazila election.
On February 3, the Election Commission announced the election schedule for 87 upazilas in Phase I of the 5th Upazila elections. Later, the polls to six were postponed on different grounds.
Besides, the candidates against all the Union Parishad posts of three upazilas have already been elected unopposed.
The 5th upazila election will be completed in five phases holding polls to some 480 upazilas out of 492. The EC has so far announced the election schedules for the first four phases.
The second phase of the election is billed for March 18, while the third for March 24 and the fourth for March 31.