No Midterm, It Has Already Passed
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has turned down the possibility of having a midterm election. She said it in response to a question during a press briefing held at Bangabhaban on December 3, after her return from Hungary. A journalist said many people are getting hints from talkshows that there might be a midterm election and asked her if she saw that same possibility as well. Hasina replied that there was no midterm anymore because the midterm had passed already. She also said that her government has already completed three years and if anybody was talking about midterm it must be about the next term. She also quipped that it is good to see dreams.
Police Drive Out Poor Possessors, But Rich Ones Drive Out Police
Dhaka North City Corporation mayor Annisul Huq said that there are two kinds of possessors now. The first kind comprises the poor who occupy footpaths and are driven out by police. The second kind comprises rich people who take possession of public land and then build houses and garages on them. These are the people who drive out the police. The mayors made his remarks at the opening ceremony of the annual general meeting 2016 of Dhaka Reporters Unity on November 29.
Give Election If You Have Courage
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has challenged the government that if it has faith in people and courage, then it should give a free and fair election under a neutral government with the participation of all political parties. He added that the government has nothing to fear because his party would accept whatever may be the outcome of that election. He was speaking at a meeting held at the CIRDAP auditorium on December 3 when he urged the government to engage in a dialogue to find out a peaceful way to transfer power. He also advised the government to shun its pride and arrange for an acceptable election by giving up its divisive politics.
Tearing Up Three Police Members
Krishak Shromik Janata League president Kader Siddique resented that the country is gradually becoming a police state. He said he did not wish to live by lowering his head before any monster. He said it on December 2 after visiting the site where two people including a teacher of Fulbaria College was killed. He also said that those who organize rallies and protests with the permission of police have to stay under the police boots. Siddique further said police entered the campus and beat up students and teachers, adding that if he were a student he would have torn up at least three police members by their legs. He also warned prime minister Sheikh Hasina that there was a plot to kill her by unscrewing the fuel pipe of her airplane, and that those who killed her father are not going to spare her either.
Unilateral Decision on Holding Elections
BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury does not think that any single party or group should unilaterally decide what should be the new method for holding elections. He said that like the neutral caretaker government formed in the past, the new election commission and caretaker government during the election time have to be formed on the basis of a consensus. He said a national consensus is a must to satisfy the expectations of 180 million people. Chowdhury said it during an interview with a vernacular daily on December 1.
Beware of Awami League Leaders
The ruling party general secretary Obaidul Quader has cautioned the Chhatra League members that they might be exploited by the Awami League leaders. He has advised them to stay alert in this regard. While addressing a conference of the Dhaka University chapter of Chhatra League in front of Aparajeyo Bangla on November 27, he said that there is no need to please those leaders and they should instead try to please the student community and the people of the country. He also reminded them that should they fail to study and make themselves qualified, they will have to serve the leaders by guarding their interests.
Freedom Fighters are Children of Bangabandhu
Industry minister Amir Hussain Amu has termed the freedom fighters as the children of Bangabandhu and emphasized that Bangladesh would not have been born if Bangabandhu had been born first. He said that the freedom fighters liberated this country at the call of Bangabandhu, and today Bangabandhu is no more but his daughter prime minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the responsibility to implement his dreams. Amu further said that the country makes progress only when Awami League comes to power and it improves the plight of the people. He added that it is also the prime minister’s contribution that people can buy rice at BDT10. Amu said it while launching the distribution of rice at BDT10 in Nolchhiti upazila on November 29.
No Need for Pet Journalists
Information minister Hasanul Haque Inu asked journalists that they should criticize the government and tell where it is doing wrong but they should not act like villains. He said the government does not need pet journalists or agents but should they disobey the Constitution in the name of journalism, it will not be tolerated. He also asked not to weigh good and bad with the same scale. The minister made his remarks while opening the first mass media and journalism conference at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate auditorium on Dhaka University Campus on November 29.
No Other Country Has a Stronger Election Commission
Joint general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, has claimed that he does not know of any other country which has an Election Commission that has been formed in a more transparent manner as that in Bangladesh. He said it on November 29 in response to US ambassador Marcia Barnicat’s comment that a strong and neutral Election Commission is needed. He also added that the late president Zillur Rahman had formed a search committee in 2012 after discussion with all political parties, and formed the Election Commission as per the advice of that search committee. Hanif also said that BNP wants to make the electoral system and the Election Commission controversial in a planned manner.
Good with Shamim Osman, Even Better Without Him
Selina Hayat Ivy, a mayoral candidate for Narayanganj City Corporation, informed that Shamim Osman’s people and the members of the Osman family are going to campaign for her. However, she said some of them will campaign openly and others will do it secretly. She was holding a strategy meeting with the central party leaders at Sheikh Hasina’s political office in Dhanmondi on November 27 when she added that it is good if Shamim Osman becomes active in the election campaign, but it will be even better if he remains inactive. Ivy further added that she would go to Shamim Osman but he must be dealt with from the center.