BNP now in leadership crisis: PM Hasina

Mentioning that BNP is now in a leadership crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said people do not trust the party for having convicted and fugitive people in its helm.

“Today, BNP has a leadership crisis…people have no trust and confidence in a party that has got convicted and fugitive people in its leadership,” she said in her valedictory speech in the 11th session of the 11th parliament.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said Awami League has earned public trust and confidence which is reflected on the recent local body elections.

“Since people are getting the services from Awami League and the country is making progress, Awami League has earned their trust. We’ve seen its reflection on local government elections,” she said.

The Prime Minister said people are sincerely casting their votes through electronic voting machines (EVMs) and there is no scope for vote-rigging through EVMs.

There is no way for influencing the election through muscle power in EVMs, she said adding, “Yes, problems may appear among councillor candidates in some places during the local body elections (local body).”

In an oblique reference to Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman, Hasina questioned how a party can work for people when those who had to serve jail term for graft and embezzlement of money of orphans and got convicted in the 10-truck arms haul and grenade attack cases are there in its leadership.

Sheikh Hasina recalled that some governments in the past had to step down amid movements triggered by vote rigging.

Bangladesh’s Covid measures

The Prime Minister said the government has taken all sorts of measures to check the coronavirus in Bangladesh and the country earned appreciations from across the world in this regard. “The whole world, including the UN Secretary General, has praised Bangladesh.”

But, she said, BNP misleads people by spreading rumors, telling lies and providing misinformation. “They keep saying their words and we continue our works and serve people. Let them speak in their way,” Hasina said.

No significant side-effect of vaccine

The Prime Minister said no significant side-effect of the Covid-19 vaccine has been reported so far. “A few people felt pains in their hands and few others had light fever. And the number of such people is just four to five. We’re monitoring this,” she added.

Noting that the Covid-19 vaccines have already reached all districts, Hasina said the countrywide vaccination programme will start there on February 7-8. All the interested people will have to get registered for the Covid-19 vaccination. “We’ve also given instructions to carry out antibody tests.”

She said there was a lot of criticisms and satires before the arrival of vaccine in Bangladesh. The vaccine itself has given answers to all of these (criticisms) after its arrival in the country. “It was a slap on the faces of those who had talked (against vaccine procurement).”

Mentioning that the Corona situation has largely come under control, she said educational institutions would be reopened after the Covid-19 situation comes under control a bit further.

The Prime Minister urged everyone to wear masks and follow hygiene rules even after getting vaccinated until the world is free from the Covid-19.

Development of Bangladesh

Highlighting Bangladesh’s development, she said the country’s GDP growth will be increased by two percent due to Padma Bridge, which will connect the country’s southern regions with the capital.

The government has relentlessly been working to make development in every area of the country. “If you set out from Dhaka and go up to Munshiganj, you’ll see how much developed roads we’ve made and it would be difficult to know whether it is Bangladesh. If you go to Chattogram (from Dhaka) to see the road we improved, you’ll forget where you are!” she said.

Hasina asked the MPs to read the whole 147-page speech the President delivered in the first session of Parliament in the new calendar year to have a picture over how much development Bangladesh witnessed.

Talking about the government programmes, including the Ashrayan project, for the rehabilitation of homeless, landless people and climate refugees, she said, “No one will remain homeless and without address in Mujib’s Bangladesh.”

‘I’m apparently confined’

Sheikh Hasina said she passes a wonderful and quality time when Parliament is in session as now she is apparently confined to a large prison due to the Covid-19 situation.

“I’m apparently confined to a big prison. Parliament is in session, I have a chance to meet all. I spend a really good time then,” she said.