Awami League Has Got Bad Intentions
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia complained that Awami League does not have good intentions at all. She said Awami League wants to win elections by force and they have already chalked out the plans. Khaleda said that they already appointed a subservient chief election commissioner as part of that plan. The BNP leader made her comments during a meeting with the newly-appointed office bearers of the Dhaka Bar Association on February 26 at her Gulshan office. She added that the DBA election proved that people would vote BNP to power if there is a free and fair election.
Bangladesh is Walking Backwards
According to noted educationist Ajoy Roy, Bangladesh was on a progressive track when it achieved independence after the Liberation war driven by the non-communal spirit. Every one coexisted in that progress irrespective of one’s caste or creed. Roy claimed that the face of that Bangladesh has been much disfigured by the rise of extremism, fundamentalism and militancy. He told a television channel on February 25 that the progress has been disrupted by religionization of every institution in the country and Bangladesh is now walking backwards.
It Does Not Seem Like There is a Government
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that it does not seem to him that there is a government in the country. What is there, he added, is something like an invading force, which does not represent the people. He was addressing a party meeting at the National Press Club on March 1, when he further said that two ministers were behind the recent transport strike. According to him, an influential minister of the government supported the strike and a state minister of the government also was involved in it.
Great Intellectual Fraud
Former chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Mizanur Rahman, saw the transfer of Gaibandha police super to Khagrachhari as a great intellectual fraud. On February 26, he told the victims of human rights violations from the plains and hill tracts that the state thinks people are dumb and stupid and they do not understand anything. He said that a police official, who had ordered arson attack on the Santal houses in Gobindaganj, has been transferred as punishment for his offense. He asked how transfer of an individual could mean that he has been punished. On November 6, three Santal men were killed during an eviction drive and a video clip uploaded to a social media site showed that members of the police force were setting fire on the Santal homes.
The Epithet of an Autocratic Leader
Taking a dig at the prime minister, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Kader Siddique said that if she came to power again without being voted, she would earn the epithet of being an autocratic leader. He said it at a rally held on February 25 in a school field at Hatubhanga in Tangail. Siddique mentioned that a lawmaker in Tangail named Sanwar Hossain was elected in a voteless election which is why he had to suffer the indignity of being slapped by road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader.
“I Am Not a Military Ruler”
Jatiya Party chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad insisted that he was not a military ruler and he did not promulgate martial law. He said it was president Abdus Sattar who had promulgated martial law. Ershad also said that he wanted to return to the barracks and held election in 1984 to facilitate transfer of power, but nobody wanted to participate in that election. Ershad explained that this is why he was compelled to form Jatiya Party in 1986. Ershad made his remarks on February 26 while addressing a party meeting at the Emmanuelle's Convention Center in Gulshan.
The Fundamental Precept of Democracy
Chief election commissioner Khan Muhammad Nurul Huda is of the view that the fundamental precept of democracy is to respect criticism. He said he would not feel vengeful if he is criticized by any political party and his challenge instead would be to respect its criticism and regain its confidence through his work. Huda further said that he has been working with that challenge in mind. The CEC said it while talking to journalists at his residence in Baufal, Patuakhali on March 1.
The Honesty Deficit in Politics
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader resented that there is honesty deficit in the country’s politics. He said the only way to solve this problem is to bring honest people to politics. He was speaking at the 29th founding anniversary of Sheikh Russel Jatiyo Shishu o Kishore Parishad on February 27 held at the Engineering Institute. Quader said politics will become clean again only if good people choose to enter it. He argued that when bad people seize the political stage then they become lawmakers and ministers, which is not good for the country.
BNP’s Participation in Election
Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim believes it is necessary to create an environment so that BNP, which boycotted the tenth parliamentary election, feels encouraged to participate in the next election. He, however, added that the government should not be too hyped up about BNP’s participation. He said it does not matter if BNP participates or not and he is convinced that BNP would have to participate in the election if it has to save its registration as a political party. On February 26, Selim responded to BNP’s warning that it would not portend a good outcome if the government thought of holding polls without its participation. He asked how it mattered if somebody came to the polls or not and cautioned the BNP leaders that if they resort to terror and destroy public property, then they must be prepared for mob beating.
“Yunus Is a Respectable Person”
Finance minister AMA Muhith claimed that Grameen Bank took the first initiative to alleviate poverty in the country by giving small loans to the extremely poor people. The minister admitted that poverty has been significantly reduced by dint of microcredit. He said that the Grameen Bank founder Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a respectable person and should be given the honor he deserves. Muhith was speaking at the inauguration of the Loan Management System of Social Development Foundation on March 2 when he also praised Brac founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed for his microlending activities.