Like many others, political leaders in Bangladesh are also stuck at their homes, but still they are trying to use their time in their confined spaces.
Talking to UNB, some senior politicians — practically disturbed — shared what they are doing to adjust with the evolving situation.
All of them, however, claimed that they are still connected with people and their party leaders and activists remotely and giving directions to overcome the current situation and stand by people.
To make the best of it, a few of them said, they are writing books and columns on corona crisis and other issues. More importantly, they claimed, they are giving their families the much-sought time and even helping their wives at their kitchens.
Unlike other politicians, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working relentlessly and monitoring the overall situation to protect everyone in the country from the coronavirus and its fallout, said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.
The Prime Minister holding meetings with the senior officials of different government bodies, departments, agencies and administration through videoconferencing, and giving various directives to deal with the situation and stand beside the affected people.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, released for six months from jail on March 25 last, has been in quarantine at her Gulshan residence and receiving treatment there.
Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, a member of the BNP chairperson’s personal physician team, said Khaleda is spending time at a homely atmosphere –sometimes lying down, sitting up and reading books.
He said the BNP chief also reads newspaper to know the country’s coronavirus situation. “She’s worried about the spread of coronavirus across the world, including Bangladesh.
Dr Kamal bored
Jatiya Oikyafront convener Dr Kamal Hossain said he was spending time by reading newspapers, watching television and contacting party leaders and activists amid the shutdown of all the offices and courts.
“I regularly follow media reports to keep me updated about the coronavirus situation in the country and elsewhere in the world. I talked to our party leaders all over the country and give them necessary directions to stand by hapless people in this situation. We’re also giving people financial assistance,” he said.
“Actually, it’s a very painful time for the nation. I’ve also got tired of staying indoors for a longtime. I wish I could come out of home and talk to people and see what ordeal they’re going through, but the situation doesn’t permit.”
“It’s not a time for doing party politics. We all should now work together for the welfare of people and ease their sufferings.”
B Chy writing
President of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury has been in isolation for a long time. “He is at his Baridhara House with his wife Hasina Warda Chowdhury,” said his press secretary Jahangir Alam.
He said the former president is spending much of his time reading newspapers and writing columns on coronavirus issue.
Jahangir said B Chowdhury has suspended all political activities of his party due to the coronavirus situation. “Sir is now completely away from politics.”
Apart from writing, he said, B Chowdhury is also reading latest medical books and journals watching news on television to pass his time.
GM Quader doing virtual politics
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader said active politicians cannot stay away from people and party leaders and activists under any circumstances. “I’m indirectly connected with people and my party activists from my Uttara house.”
“I talk to my party leaders and activists and people of my areas over phone and give them necessary advice and instructions. I also virtually monitor our party’s relief activities with the help of technology,” he said.
Besides, the Jatiya Party chief said, he reads books and watch news on TV. “I’ve also started writing columns.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said he is in touch with party leaders and activists, and giving them necessary instructions to help people.
Besides, Fakhrul said, he is reading books, newspapers and watching news on television.
“You can say I’ve been in home quarantine, but not in a good mood as the country’s people are passing through a tough time. I’m also anxious like the country’s people over the prevailing situation due to the spread of coronavirus.”
Hanif serving people
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said he is now in his home district Kushtia to serve people at this critical time.
“There’s a saying that habit is the second nature. So, politicians can’t stay away from politics, no matter what. As the country is now in danger, I felt I shouldn’t remain absent from my constituency. So, I’m in Kushtia to serve people,” he said.
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon said, “I usually walk for some time after leaving the bed in the morning and read newspapers. I then contact party leaders across the country through WhatsApp, hold videoconferences and monitor their relief activities for the jobless poor people.”
Menon a veteran left politician, said he passes some time reading books and writing columns on coronavirus and political issues.
“I’ve started writing a book with a focus on different movements and my experiences in politics. I also talk to my daughter every day as she lives in New Jersey, USA where coronavirus pandemic has taken a serious turn. Besides, I spend some time with my wife.”
Selim, a helpful husband
President of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Mujahidul Islam Selim said though he has been staying at home to maintain social distancing, he is busy as usual engaging in political activities remotely.
“I’m doing politics in full swing from home and holding videoconferences to give my party leaders and activists the necessary guidelines to stand by people.”
As there’s no-one to help his wife, Selim said he does household chores in the morning.