Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday sharply criticised BNP for dropping section 7 from its charter and making a convict its head.
“What will the party that accepts corruption as policy or support it in its charter, and accepts a corrupt leader work for the wellbeing of people? They (its leaders) can commit only plundering, killing people and corruption,” he said at his valedictory speech in the 19th session of the current Parliament.
The Prime Minister said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia might guess before the court’s judgment that she would go to the jail and dropped the section 7 from BNP’s charter to pave the way for corrupt and convicts to hold her party posts.
“This means BNP has accepted corruption and a convict as its leader,” she said.
“Immediately after a person (Khaleda Zia) landed in jail after being convicted, another person (Tarique Rahman) was given the charge (of chairman of BNP), who is also a convict and doesn’t stay in the country. The fugitive convict who stays abroad taking asylum was given the charge of the party,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She questioned whether there is any person among the BNP leaders who could be entrusted with the charge.
The Prime Minister said Begum Zia might have realised that everyone among those who can be given the charge is facing many graft cases. “All are corrupt and there’re cases against all.”
Mentioning that the government has nothing to do with the court verdict against Khaleda Zia, Hasina said the court awarded the sentence concluding the trial process of the Zia Orphanage graft case that continued for 10 years.
“The greed for orphans’ money can’t be contained. What’s the government’s fault here?” she said adding that the caretaker government found out the anomaly and the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case.
The caretaker government carried out frantic efforts to detect any anomaly in the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust Fund, but found nothing. Now 1600-1700 students get monthly stipend and injured persons in the August 21 grenade attack get assistance from the trust fund, she added.
Recalling that the caretaker government filed cases against her, the Prime Minister said she did not allow withdrawing any case, but ordered investigation into every case. “If any allegation is found correct in the investigation, I was ready to face the trial,” Hasina said.
Pointing out that now some BNP leaders are threatening the judges who delivered the judgment, the Prime Minister said, “Can’t we call the thief the thief in Bangladesh and the killer the killer? Is it the lesson?”
Claiming that that the ACC is now fully independent, Hasina said it can quiz any ruling party leader, minister or MP if it suspects that he or she is involved in corruption. “The ACC has already done it. We never interfere in the ACC’s activities and won’t do either.”
“If any graft charge is proved against anyone, he or she must face punishment,” she said adding that even ministers appear before the court if it summons them because they abide by the law, the court and the rules.
“We want fair politics to prevail in the country where people will exercise their franchise,” she told the House.
The Prime Minister said her government will never allow that Bangladesh will be a sanctuary for criminals.
The PM went on saying: “When BNP was in the power, it had created militancy and terrorism. But, we want to make Bangladesh a peaceful country. We’ll in no way shelter militants. We’re also conducting drives against drugs.”
The Prime Minister thanked the opposition MPs for upholding proper democratic practices in Parliament. The present opposition, including the Opposition Leader, showed tolerance for the sake of fair democratic practices. Now democracy has taken an institutional shape now.”
Turning to cases filed against her during the caretaker government, she criticised caretaker government adviser Barrister Mainul Husein not mentioning his name.
Pointing finger at him, Hasina said now a gentleman is talking tall talks. “He’s a very qualified person. He mentioned in a TV talk-show that he is shocked as educated persons like him was called donkey by the Prime Minister in her remarks in parliament.
Hasina alleged that this gentleman along with Bangabandhu’s killer Huda and Pasha formed a political party named Progotishil Ganotantrik Shakti in the 1980s and spent tens of thousands of money for the party.
“What were the sources of that money? Now we have to hear talks about democracy from his mouth!” the Prime Minister said.
Before the formation of the last caretaker government, Hasina said, Mainul Husein had requested her so that he could be an adviser. “When we sent names for advisers, we also sent his name. But he arrested me first being the adviser and filed cases against me. He himself phoned me not to return home from abroad during the caretaker government,” she said.