Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that there is now no force in Bangladesh that can overthrow her Awami League government.
“The Awami League has deep roots among the people. No such force has yet emerged that can topple the Awami League government,” she told Parliament, replying to a supplementary question from Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam.
Hasina, also the AL president, said her party wasn’t born from the pocket of any power-grabber and military dictator, rather it was born from the soil and the people of this country. “So, our roots have gone deeper into the soil,” she said.
She said dictators like Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Gen. Ziaur Rahman, Gen. Ershad and Khaleda Zia tried to destroy Awami League but failed. No such force will ever again be able to do so with the AL, she said.
“When Awami League is in power, it means the government serves the people and changes the fate of the people,” she said, asking all to remember what the condition of Bangladesh was before her party was voted to power 14 years ago.
In his question, Fakhrul referred to one-eleven political changeover in 2007 and asked the PM if she thinks it is now time to reach political compromise among all parties though there is no possibility that the country would witness another one-eleven due to her wise leadership.
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The PM said those who polluted the election, utterly destroyed the electoral process, snatched away the voting rights of the people and played ducks and drakes with the fate of the people are now raising questions over election.
“What right do they have to raise questions (regarding election)? ….If we analyze every election, we see that the people can vote peacefully when the Awami League is in power,” she said.
She said the people vote for the Awami League spontaneously because they know this party keeps the promises it makes.
Hasina said BNP didn’t join the 2014 general election as the party knew that they secured only 30 seats in the 2008 election and the country witnessed an unprecedented development thanks to steps taken by the grand alliance government. “So, the people bestowed their trust and confidence in us and voted for us. They (BNP) boycotted the election,” she said.
The PM said BNP apparently stood aside from the 2018 election midway due to nomination business and tried to make the polls questionable. “They have been able to make it questionable by carrying out different campaigns and propaganda…. But the people still have trust and confidence in Awami League,” she added.
Pointing to Fakhrul, the PM said there is nothing to be scared. “Don’t be scared. We’re still here (in power). There is nothing to be worried,” she added.
In reply to another supplementary question from AL lawmaker Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, the premier said the government would take tougher action, if necessary, against the hoarders of commodities and black marketeers in order to ease the sufferings of consumers.
She said the matter is really unfortunate here in Bangladesh that the businessmen try to enhance the commodity prices anyhow during Ramazan and other festivals when their demands go higher. But in other countries, the prices of commodities are always reduced during festivals.
She said the businesspeople are dilly dallying in importing commodities in many cases as they want to make profit by increasing the prices and demand of goods. “It is inhumane,” she added.
“We’re taking proper actions against the hoarders, black-marketeers and those who are engaged in LC-related anomalies…. If needed, we’ll take tougher actions and we will pay special attention so that people won’t suffer,” she added.
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Responding to a supplementary question from AL MP Ahasanul Islam (Titu), the PM said the government is taking steps to ensure proper supply of commodities during the upcoming Ramazan.
“We want so that the people of our country won’t suffer during Ramazan,” she said.
The government has kept arrangements to open LCs for importing essential consumer goods from different countries, she said adding that there is no problem in opening LCs for importing food items at proper prices.
In reply to a question from Gonoforum MP Mukabbir Khan, the PM outright rejected the allegations of corruption in various mega projects and threw a challenge to place specific evidence—where and how much money was lost due to corruption.
“The allegations he has raised are completely baseless…. I am throwing a challenge to the lawmaker that he will have to say clearly here about where and what amount (of money) was lost due to corruption and I will answer to these,” she said.
Mukabbir in his question raised allegations of corruption in mega projects and quick rental power plants.