The celebrations of Golden Jubilee of Independence maintaining friendship with anti-liberation people is nothing but a joke, said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday.
Obaidul made the remarks at a discussion meeting at Awami League’s Bangabandhu Avenue office on the occasion of the introduction of the new members of the Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
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“BNP has been against democracy and violating human rights in the guise of democracy since its inception,” Quader said adding that they are still continuing their “pernicious” campaign.
After a series of failures in elections and movement, people had hoped that BNP would give up patronising the anti-independence extremist group, but they did not, Quader mentioned.
Describing BNP's movement, rallies, processions, human chains as violence and terrorism, he said people are now afraid of their programmes.
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The AL leader said when the BNP announced its programmes, transport owners and workers also stopped bus movement for avoiding any possible damage of their vehicles, but the BNP blamed the government.
Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said the BNP has now made police its opponent after a series of failures in its movement and election races.
Despite the BNP's announcement not to participate in the UP elections, there are rumors that their party-backed candidates are taking preparation locally, Quader added.
The AL general secretary warned that members of the sub-committees would be removed if they misuse power or engage in extortion.
Also read: AL victim of political plots: Obaidul Quader
Awami League presidium member Begum Matia Chowdhury presided over the meeting.
Earlier, newly-elected members of the Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee paid homage to the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32.
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader on Wednesday said the country is now under the grip of ‘autocracy’ as all the power is concentrated in the hands of one person.
“The three main pillars of the state -- the executive branch, the legislative and the lower courts of the judiciary -- are in the hands of one person. The appointment to the High Court is also in her hands through the President,” he said.
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GM Quader said, “So, all the power of the country is now in the hands of one person, and nothing happens without her command. It can never be called democracy. It’s autocracy when power is abused and concentrated in the hands of one person.”
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a programme marking his 73rd birthday at Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office.
GM Quader said corruption and politicisation are going on harming the interests of common people, while leaders and activists are amassing huge wealth unfairly.
He said their party will not remain as parasitic in the field of politics. “Jatiya Party has existence with its own politics. We’ll l move forward with our own politics.”
He said Jatiya Party has acceptance among people and it will continue to raise voice in public interests.
Also read: AL, BNP disappointed people: GM Quader
“Jatiya Party won’t bow down its head to anyone out of fear… No party evaluates a non-existent or rootless political party. In politics, people hate parasitic or rootless parties,” GM Quader observed.
He said their party will remain active in the field of politics in favour of people braving all barriers.
BNP on Wednesday announced a 19-day programme, including a grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, for the month of March to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country’s independence.
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, a BNP standing committee member and the convener of the party’s National Committee on celebrating the golden jubilee of independence, announced the programmes at a press conference at its chairperson’s Gulshan office.
As part of the programmes, the party has a plan to hold a grand rally on March 30 at the Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital.
Mosharraf said their party will celebrate the golden jubilee of independence throughout the year, and they will announce the programmes in every running month for the next month. So, we’re now announcing the programmes for the month of March.”
The programmes include inauguration of golden jubilee programmes on March 1, discussion on hoisting the flag of independence on March 2, discussion on manifesto of the independence on March 3, discussion on March 7, celebration of World Women's Day on March 8, a seminar March 9, essay competition March 10, inauguration of year-long blood donation programme March 13, painting competition March 15, seminar on rule of law and the independence of judiciary March 20, seminar on declaration of independence, Liberation War, ‘Z Force and Bir Uttam Ziaur Rahman’ March 22, cultural heritage fair March 23, seminar on usurpation of power by dictator Ershad by ousting the elected BNP government March 24, discussion on ‘Black Night’ March 25.
On March 26, the national and party flags will be hoisted atop BNP offices, party leaders will place wreaths at National Memorial in Savar, and late President Ziaur Rahman’s grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, marking the Independence Day. The party will also arrange blood donation programmes and rallies across the country the same day.
Besides, the party will hold discussions in Chattogram and Bogura on March 27, accord a reception to freedom fighters March 28, rally Suhrawardy Udyan 30 March and book fair and painting exhibition on the Liberation War on March 31.
Mosharraf called upon the people of all walks of life, irrespective of party affiliation, to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence with utmost enthusiasm and seriousness from their respective positions. “We liberated the country in exchange for a sea of blood in the interest of the people of this country. So, we want to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence all together.”
He also sought cooperation of law enforcement agencies for the security and smooth holding of their programmes. “The same way, we seek the cooperation of the government, so that we can get its full support for celebrating the golden jubilee properly without any hindrance.”
Also read:2020: No political mileage for BNP
The BNP leader also urged the government to ensure the ‘permanent release’ of their party chairperson Khaleda Zia on the occasion.
Criticising BNP for its failure to wage any movement with public issues, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury on Tuesday said senior leaders of the party have apparently become ‘deaf and blind’.
"Though there’re many big leaders in BNP, I think they’ve become deaf and blind. The government has been making mistakes one after another, but they can’t do anything as they can’t see or hear anything,” he said.
Zafrullah, also a freedom fighter, came up with the remarks while speaking at a discussion arranged by Jatiya Party (Zafar), one of the components of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, at the Jatiya Press Club, marking 'Amar Ekushey', the Language Martyrs' Day and International Mother Language Day.
He said BNP has long been talking about only one issue of its chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release ignoring the public issues. “Even, they can’t speak straightly about the release of Khaleda Zia.”
The freedom fighter said Khaleda has the right to go abroad for medical treatment as she is ill. “The rights have to be realised.”
He said though all the offices, courts, madrasas and maktabs are now open, general educational institutions still remained closed. “Because the government's intelligence agencies have reports that if the universities and halls are reopened, an anti-government movement can be waged.”
Zafrullah slammed the leaders BNP and the 20-party alliance for not taking position in favour of the students seeking the immediate reopening of the universities and dormitories. "What are you (20-party leaders) doing? Why aren't you taking a position in favour of the students?" Don’t you wake you up? People’s rights will be restored if students ’movement is intensified.”
He alleged that the backbone of the nation is being broken by keeping the educational institutions shut as the students are making teen gangs by watching Hindi films.
Zafrullah said Awami League is often making mistakes since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has become ‘lonely’ as the senior party leaders like Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Matia Chowdhury are not there beside her.
“As the Prime Minister has remained confined (to Gonobhaban), Awami League is going to a wrong direction. The boat of the Awami League government is now in a so delicate condition that it’ll sink with just a little push.”
About the current vaccination programme against Covid-19, Dr Zafrullah appreciated the government for providing people vaccine on its own initiative.
He urged the government not to allow private companies to import the Covid-19 vaccine to ensure quality jabs for people free of charge.
BNP on Tuesday alleged that the government is making a list of 'fake' freedom fighters comprising Awami League supporters and their relatives who did not join the Liberation War in 1971.
"Those who’re now in power didn’t fight the Liberation War. They didn’t see how the Liberation War took place in the battlefield. That’s why they want to snatch the title of real freedom fighters,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a human-chain programme, he said, "They (govt) are making a list of fake freedom fighters comprising those belonging to Awami League."
Referring to BNP senior leader and gallantry title recipient freedom fighter Hafizuddin Ahmed’s remark, Rizvi said only 80,000 freedom fighters had fought the Liberation War in 1971. "But Awami League is making the list of 2.5 lakh freedom fighters. They’re including the names of their relatives and grandchildren who were not born in 1971 in the list of freedom fighters.”
Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh (DAB) arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club protesting a move to revoke BNP founder Ziaur Rahman's ‘Bir Uttam’ title.
Rizvi warned that those who are making ‘’evil efforts’ to snatch Zia’s Bir Uttam title will one day be tried in a 'people's court'.
He said he was utterly shocked seeing Al Jazeera's recent report on Bangladesh. “Criminals have been pardoned by the state, but the law minister and the home minister said they don’t know anything about it. This is how the government is doing evil acts and injustice in the dark by introducing a mafia system,” the BNP leader alleged.
He said Awami League needs a mafia system to run the country as it has ‘obliterated’ democracy, freedom of expression and press freedom only to cling to power.
Rizvi said the government has taken a move to remove Zia’s gallantry title to divert people’s attention to a different direction from its ‘misdeeds’ exposed by the Al Jazeera report.
The BNP leader said it is the government, not Zia, will get humiliated if his Bir Uttam title is revoked. “Nothing will happen to Ziaur Rahman as he is a well-established heroic freedom fighter. By killing his own commander, he declared independence and inspired the whole nation to fight for independence.”