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‘BNP not in parliament, so not to be in polls-time govt’

Tuesday, 16 May 2023 | 3:40 am | 412 times

‘BNP not in parliament, so not to be in polls-time govt’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said an election-time government could be formed with the parties in parliament although the next general election will be held in the country following the Westminster democracy of Britain.

“We follow the Westminster type democracy. We’ll hold the election as Britain does… Yes, we can show our liberality if anyone of the MPs (parties) in parliament expresses desire to join the election-time government. We are ready to welcome them,” she said.

The premier made this remark while addressing a press conference to brief the media about the outcomes of her recent tri-nation visit to Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, at her official Ganabhaban residence on Monday (May 15) afternoon.

Mentioning that her party Bangladesh Awami League (AL) had shown such liberality earlier too, Sheikh Hasina said that before the national election in 2014, Khaleda Zia was asked to give her party’s representation in that election-time government, but they didn’t do that.

She added, “Now they (BNP) are not in parliament. So, there is nothing to think about them.”

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, said that she has been working for the welfare of the people and if the people vote for her, she will stay in power, otherwise not.

AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, AL Presidium Members – Deputy Leader of the House Begum Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Engineer Mosharraf Hossain – Planning Minister Abdul Mannan and PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, were present on the dais.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.

The Prime Minister said that the BNP is continuing their movement to oust the government, but the government is not doing anything over this.

“But, whenever we were in the opposition, did they allow us to come to the street?” she said, adding that they tried to kill her through grenade attack.

Sheikh Hasina said that the government has no reservation on the movement of BNP, but it won’t tolerate any arson violence.

“If they wage movement, we’ve no objection. But, if they resort to arson violence and burn any human being again, we’ll not spare them. . . They can wage movement as much as they can,” she said.

In this connection, the premier referred to the arson terrorism of BNP-Jamaat alliance in the past where they burnt over 500 schools, 3,800 vehicles, launches, 70 rails and 3,500 people as well.

She questioned whether anybody keeps the information of the people who received burn injuries during the arson terrorism of BNP-Jamaat.

“I’ve said that they can carry on their movement, but there is no reason to burn people . . . ,” she said, adding: “We wouldn’t allow anyone to harm people.”

Regarding the movement of BNP, Sheikh Hasina said that she knows who are getting benefit from the movement.

“They can wage movement as much as they can, it matters nothing to me as I am with the people. I am working for the people and people’s trust and confidence is my big strength,” she added.

Mentioning that she has nothing to lose, Sheikh Hasina said, “I’ve lost my mother-father-brother. I am working for my people.”

The AL chief noted that her party works a lot and that is why vested groups have become enemies of AL. “It is natural, but I don’t bother it as I am working for the country and want the people to stay well.”

The Prime Minister said that her success is that she has been able to turn the country into a developing one but it would not be liked by those who opposed the country’s independence, and killed Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“I’ve fulfilled my goal and the rest of it will be achieved, InshaAllah,” she added.

“I would join election and the reason is that I didn’t implement the full process of being a developing nation by 2024 due to Covid-19 and that is why my desire is to do it by 2026.”

Replying to a question if any talks will be held with those who (BNP) are now waging movement on the streets against the government, the Prime Minister said, “Why would we go to call them for talks? Their demand is not specific as well.”


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