Dhaka, Jun 07 (UNB) –Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said no external force will put BNP in power on a merry-go-round, but they would rather use the party against her government.
“They think someone, coming from somewhere else, will put them in power riding a merry-go-round. No one will do that. It will use (them), but won’t give them power,” she said in an oblique reference to BNP’s excitement following the announcement of the new US visa policy for Bangladesh.
The premier was addressing a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Awami League (AL) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city, marking the historic Six-Point Day.
She said it is the Awami League that protected democracy and voting rights and ensured the continuation of democracy in the country.
Hasina, the president of ruling Awami League, presided over the discussion.
She said, “Today, movement and struggle will be waged and we’ll be ousted. It is better from the one perspective that if they (BNP) resort to arson violence and kill the people, they will not get US visa.”
She said the forces on whose tune BNP dances will destroy it. “We’ve nothing to do. We’ve nothing to think of it,” she added.
The PM said she has already told (the authorities concerned) to let the BNP wage movement. “Let them do whatever movement they want to do. We’ll not say anything,” she said.
She, however, asked the authorities to keep their eyes open and camera on always so that BNP can’t repeat the arson violence, burning people and killing people as they did in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
She said they (BNP) may instigate and send the photographs outside the country. They don’t believe in the power of the people, she added.
“We’ve to always remember that this country is ours. We will not allow anyone to play the ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of this county. No matter how much local and international pressure comes, the Bangalis don’t bow down to it,” said the PM.
She said her party will keep the voting rights of the people protected. “It is we who brought democracy, waging movements and struggles in this country. Since there is the continuation of democracy, Bangladesh has today witnessed progress and socio-economic uplift,” she said.
Hasina said she is the only prime minister in the history of Bangladesh who handed over the power peacefully, which was in 2001.
Referring to the 15th February, 1996 voter-less general election and the move to hold a lopsided election in 2006, PM Hasina said the people must remember that Khaleda Zia (a former PM) was forced to step down on two occasions on charge of vote-rigging.
She said AL never suffered defeat when the people got scope to vote. AL came to power every time getting the votes of the people and never grabbed the power, she added.
Noting that BNP now called the government as one who came to power through voter-less election, the PM said, “Today they say voter-less. Who is voter-less? It were Khaleda Zia, Ziaur Rahman and Ershad who held voter-less election. They grabbed the power without vote,” she said.
She said the leaders of the parties which were formed in the pockets of those who snatched democracy and came to power through killings and coups are now talking about election and democracy and vote-rigging.
“Not only vote-riggers, you are vote-dacoits. You don’t know democracy. You know curfew democracy. But we’re to hear from them, which is unfortunate,” she said.
“There is an attempt to put accusation on those who brought democracy,” said Hasina.
About the ongoing electricity crisis, Sheikh Hasina said more electricity will be added to the national grid within the next 10-15 days ending the ongoing power crisis.
“We have been compelled to make load-shedding ….I can realize the sufferings of the people. We’ve been trying our best. Some 500 more megawatt electricity will be added within the next day one or two. Yet more electricity will be added within 10-15 days. Then there’ll be no suffering,” she said.
Hasina said unfortunately, this time the people are enduring abnormally high temperature. “We can’t think that the temperature would go up to 41 degrees.”
She said lack of rain aggravated the suffering. “We’re sitting in meetings time and again to find the ways out and trying to ease this suffering,” she said.
The PM said Bangladesh doesn’t alone face this problem, which is being caused by global factors.
The AL chief asked her party members to raise the government’s development achievements and plans before the people ahead of the next general election.
Describing the historic Six-Point as “Magna Carta” of the people of Bangladesh, the PM said the massive progress of the country was possible as it led to the independence of Bangladesh.
AL advisory council member Amir Hossain Amu, its presidium members Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Matia Chowdhury, Shajahan Khan and Simeen Hussain Rimi, among others, spoke at the discussion.
On June 7 in 1966, Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive movement against the misrule of the Pakistanis on the basis of the six-point demand, the Magna Carta of the Bengalis, demanding autonomy for the then East Pakistan.