Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday came down heavily on the opposition leader as she rejected her offer to form an all-party election-time government. “I offered to form an all-party government for the election period, but she (Khaleda) didn’t like it.
She doesn’t want elected representatives, so she has gone back,” Hasina said criticising Khaleda for her proposal to bring back the caretaker advisers of 1996 and 2001. Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, was addressing a public rally at Gor-e-Shahid Goramaidan in the Dinajpur district town.
This was the Prime Minister’s first visit to Dinajpur after she assumed office in 2009. Maintaining her scathing attack on the opposition leader, Hasina said when people are trying to move ahead to change their lot, Khaleda Zia is out to drag them back.
“This is 2013… we’re taking the country ahead with the help of people. We’ll make the country free from poverty and hunger by 2021. When we’re moving and looking ahead, she (Khaleda) wants to go back to 1991 and 1996,” she told her audience.
Recalling the activities of Khaleda Zia in 1996 against the caretaker government, the Awami League chief said after the 1996 election she sent JCD ‘terrorists’ to kill then caretaker government chief Justice Habibur Rahman. “At that time SSF members had been deployed for his protection. Now she wants to bring back those advisers to the caretaker government,” she said.
Hasina mentioned that people cast their votes in 2008 in favour of the AL-led grand alliance and the government then established parliamentary democracy and the spirit of the Liberation War. “Bangladesh will move ahead as a democratic country,” she asserted.
The Prime Minister said BNP always come to power to destroy the country through corruption, militancy and terrorism. “But Awami League government never allowed corruption…we didn’t allow anyone to open ‘Hawa Bhaban’ to do tender manipulation business. We always spend public money on ensuring people’s welfare,” she said.
Turning to war crimes trial, Hasina said it was the election pledge of her party, and the people of the country cast their votes in favour of that pledge. The premier said the opposition leader wanted to save the war criminals as her husband did and mentioned that Bangabandhu in 1973 had started the trial of the war criminals, but Gen Zia after grabbing power illegally stopped the trial process. “That was not the end, he had established the war criminals in the country by rehabilitating them in politics,” she said. Hasina also said the opposition leader has some heartburn as her old companions like Nizami and Mujahid now facing the music of the trial. “She had made those war criminals ministers, that’s why she is not feeling well,” the AL President said adding that the opposition leader often threatened to topple the elected government just to save the war criminals. The Prime Minister sought the cooperation from people in completing the unfinished development works of her government by casting their votes in the next general election. “After losing my all kith and kin in the 1975 massacre, I’m still alive just to serve the country and its people,” she said. State Minister for Land Advocate Mostafizur Rahman Fizar, who is also the president of district AL unit, presided over the meeting. AL leaders Tofail Ahmed, Amir Hossain Amu, Syed Ashraful Islam, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and local MP Iqbalur Rahim also spoke. – UNB