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BNP becomes speechless after Padma Bridge opening: Hasan

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Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said BNP made absurd comments at first and now it has become speechless and can’t understand what they would say after opening of Padma Bridge.

“BNP’s politics sank into middle of river Padma after the inauguration of Padma Bridge. So, at first they talked nonsense and now has become speechless, can’t understand what to say,” he said.

Hasan, also Awami League (AL) Joint General Secretary, hoped that BNP would be able to retrieve their politics from the middle of river Padma and go to people after seeking apology for their previous misdeeds.

He said these while addressing as the chief guest the triennial council of Awami League units under 74 number ward of Sabujbagh thana in Dhaka City South unit of the party.

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Dhaka City South AL President and valiant freedom fighter Abu Ahmed Mannafi inaugurated the council while its General Secretary Md Humayun Kabir addressed it as key speaker.

Dhaka City South AL Vice-President Shaheed Serniabat, Organizing Secretary Akhter Hossain, Sabujbagh Thana AL President Ashrafuzzaman and General Secretary Chittaranjan Das also spoke, among others.

Turning to next general elections, he said: “Elections will be held after one and half years. Now BNP is not in the scene, sometimes it holds clandestine processions and ‘takes quick peek from holes’.”

 On legal ground, there is no scope for both BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and her son acting chairman of BNP Tarique Rahman to take part in the next elections and that is why BNP is in suspicion whether it would join polls or not.

However, the minister hoped BNP would take part in the next parliamentary polls and spread different types of misleading information coming out from ‘holes’ before the election.

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“As a joint general secretary of Awami League, I am witnessing massive enthusiasm and eagerness of our leaders and workers when I go in visit to different parts of the country for organizational activities,” he said.

Hasan hoped: “Insha Allah, BNP will again be washed out at our landslide victory in the next elections too. To ensure the victory, the party should be kept united,” he said.

He underscored the need for bringing those AL workers, who have been making their efforts to take ahead the party defying different conspiracies and obstacles in the last 21 years after 2001 general elections, into leadership.

There is no need to bring those, who became Awami Leaguer newly in the last 13 years after 2008 general elections they didn’t face the party’s staying in opposition and only witness power, in leadership, he mentioned.

He said party leaders and workers should remain polite when it stays in power as “We cannot let the party’s dignity get immersed due to arrogant behaviors of any leader or worker”.

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The AL joint general secretary urged all to avoid extortionists, grabbers and drug abusers as there is no room for them in AL.

Referring to BNP lawmakers’ speech in parliament that strong opposition party is needed in House, he said, AL also wants that they would become strong but they can’t do so due to their repeated suicidal decisions.

He hoped BNP would shun taking suicidal decisions and make themselves strong to help strengthen the country’s democracy.

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Politics

Vast majority of Bangladeshis want good relations with neighbours: FM tells South Asia Correspondents

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Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said the vast majority of the people of Bangladesh now understand that it should have good relations with neighbours – for its own prosperity as well as that of the region.

He said his party (Bangladesh Awami League) is painted as a ‘pro-Indian’ party but AL is a pro-Bangladeshi party.

“There are anti-Indian elements. We specifically see this issue during elections. But the anti-Indian sentiment is gradually diminishing in Bangladesh,” he told the members of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia during an interaction in New Delhi on February 9.

The Foreign Minister said the tablet or capsule of blaming Awami League as a pro-India party does not work anymore like the past.

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“Today, the vast majority of the people understand that for the prosperity of Bangladesh and the region, neighbours should have good relations,” he said while responding to a question.

Asked about balancing relations, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh-India relationship is not comparable to any other relations.

“Bangladesh’s relations with India are bonded by blood and shared sacrifice during the War of Liberation in 1971,” Hasan said.

He said although China is not Bangladesh’s immediate neighbor but it is a neighbor and a development partner of Bangladesh.

The Foreign Minister said they face a lot of challenges due to the wave of fake news. He said this is a problem even in Europe and shared how fake news was spread during Covid-19.

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He mentioned that this is an area where all need to work together. “We can work together to fight against fake news.”

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Last national election was open for all AL members for sake of democracy: PM Hasina

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday (9 Februay) said if she did not allow her party members to take part in last month’s election as independent candidates the democracy of the country would have been snatched away.

“If the election was not open for all (AL members), then not only the election would have been stained, the democracy of the country would have been hijacked too,” she said.

The prime minister was delivering her introductory speech at the extended meeting of Awami League at her official residence Ganabhaban.

This election was important to maintain the country’s status as a developing country, she said.

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“We should not forget the election manifesto that we announced before the election to retain this achievement. Every year during the budget formulation we follow the election manifesto,” she said.

Hasina, also the chief of ruling Awami League, said that her party has also opened the upcoming upazila elections for all her party members to make it participatory.

“It will also be scrutinised how much work has been done for the common people in the last 15 years while in power, and who could not deliver. Through it we will see who is accepted by the people,” she said.

She issued warning against any sort of confrontation in the upcoming local government elections.

“We do not want any kind of confrontation. Stern actions will be taken against the individuals responsible for it no matter who they are,” she said.

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Claiming that the 12th parliamentary election was free, fair and impartial, Hasina said that those who want to dispute the election, they must give clear evidence.

She said that elections have been held in many developed countries of the world, but these are yet to be accepted by their opponents.

“Even the post-election violence has resulted in murders. But the election in Bangladesh was very fair. Public administration, the armed forces, law and order enforcement and all those involved in the election have performed their duties impartially,” she claimed

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Political crisis nearing climax: Rizvi

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The BNP today said the country’s long-standing political crisis is now nearing its climax as people are taking to the streets risking their lives to resist a one-sided election.

“The chief election commissioner surrendered to Sheikh Hasina instead of protecting the interests of the people and taking proper steps to ensure a free, fair, and participatory election,” Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, senior joint secretary general of the party, said in a virtual press conference.

The BNP leader alleged that the EC announced the schedule for the next election ignoring the continuous movement for free and fair elections.

Rizvi also alleged that the commission announced the election schedule on the instruction of the government, ignoring the appeals of the country’s civil society, the international community, and foreign diplomats.

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“When the CEC announced the schedule, he should have also mentioned the time of voting, whether it will be at night, or during the daytime, or early morning.”

The BNP leader said the government has established a regime where those who demand free and fair elections are being attacked.

He said their ongoing movement to restore the power and rights of the people will be a warning for all the autocrats.

Rizvi said the BNP leaders and activists are being arrested indiscriminately. “If they [law enforcers] can’t detain them, they are arresting their fathers, fathers-in-law, younger brothers, and even women in the house.”

He said law enforcers arrested more than 12,900 leaders and activists in 289 cases across the country since October 28.

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