A senior leader of the opposition BNP on Sunday said the Awami League-led government’s failures in the last four years have put its successes in the shade.
Standing Committee Member Tariqul Islam made the observation at a press conference convened at its Naya Paltan headquarters after the end of a nationwide daylong shutdown.
The BNP-led 18-Party opposition alliance enforced the shutdown protesting against hike in fuel oil prices from Jan 6, the day Awami League formed government in 2008.
“The Grand Alliance government has some successes. But finding those requires a search under the microscope as those were buried under corruption, misrule and failures (of the government),” said Islam.
“The government has achieved a lot in the last four years. For example, they’ve siphoned off all the money from the Padma bridge project through corruption,” he quipped.
The BNP leader alleged that the government embezzled millions of taka by buying electricity from the quick rental power plants, Hall-Mark loan scam and capital market. “They’ve thrown ordinary investors out on the road penniless.”
He expressed concern over ‘disappearance of opposition activists’. “As many as 156 opposition leaders and activists were subject to forced disappearance. The list of people who have disappeared is getting longer with every passing day.”
“The latest finding of the body of Dhaka Metropolitan Ward (BNP) leader Rafiqul Islam Majumder raised the number of disappeared people to 157.”
Islam alleged that the ruling party people have resorted to extortion, manipulation of tender process and encroachment of river and sea to make quick money.
“Twenty-one of their men have been allowed to open banks. They’re looting Tk 20 billion every year through illegal VoIP business. They are running all businesses,” he said.
The opposition leader said the government has ‘lost its senses completely’. “Now they are appointing own people in the law –enforcing agencies to cling to the power through secret killing.”
“They’ll implement their agenda no matter what happens to the people. There is no alternative to toppling the government for improving the situation (of the country).”
The BNP leader said the opposition was forced to call the Sunday’s shutdown as the government increased the fuel oil prices.
“We want to make it clear that we will enforce shutdown once again if the government forces us to. We believe shutdown brings sufferings to the people. But they’ll support any programme, despite their sufferings, in public interest.”
According to Islam, the Awami League enforced strikes 173 times between 1996 and 2001, the tenure of the BNP-led government. He claimed that they enforced only 20 days of shutdown last four years of the Awami League-led government.
Islam said the BNP would observe Jan 11 as ‘black day’ as military-backed caretaker government took over on that day in 2007. The government proclaimed a state of emergency and ruled the country for two years.