Khaleda will be in jail with return of caretaker govt: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the opposition leader will have to be in jail if the caretaker government again comes to power.

“If the caretaker government comes again, she (Khaleda Zia) will land in jail. There is no confusion about it. No one will spare her and she must keep this in mind,” Hasina said in her introductory remarks at a views-exchange meeting with the grassroots leaders of Awami League from Naogaon district at her official residence Ganobhaban.

Alleging that the opposition leader lost her mental equilibrium and does not know what to do, she said: “When the people of the country are living in peace, there is no peace in her (Khaleda’s) mind.”

Hasina, also the Awami League President, mentioned that there had been so many “games and experiments” in the country with the elections.

She said: “The next election will be held as per the constitution to ensure uninterrupted democratic march in the country so that no one could grab the state power illegally.”

She added: “That’s why I want to tell the opposition leader please walk on the path of democracy. It will bring good to you. There will be proper democracy in the country.”

Recalling the much talked ‘minus two’ formula during the last army-backed caretaker government, the Prime Minister said those people are still alive. “Often they are raising their voice; if they get something they start to speak out loudly.”

Terming these people like the turtles, she said when they see the condition is in their favor they raise their head; otherwise, they keep their head inside the shell.

Hasina said the cases now running against the opposition leader were filed during the last army-backed caretaker government. “Who gave her the guarantee that no further cases will be filed against her? They (caretaker government) will come with more strength, she has to understand this.”

She said the Awami League will ensure free and neutral election because it believed in the empowerment of the people. “All our agitations and movements were for ensuring the voting rights of the people.”

The Prime Minister thanked the opposition party for coming back to Parliament and still staying there. “Although they came to retain their membership, I still thank them as they remain in Parliament,” she said.

Also thanking the opposition leader for their wise decision to take part in the four city corporation elections, she said: “Their participation proves that the elections under the present government will be free and neutral.”

Regarding the withdrawal of the adjournment motion in the Parliament by the opposition leader, Hasina said it seemed they (BNP) wanted to create anarchy outside Parliament.

Referring to the massive spread of militancy including the emergence of Siddiqur Rahman `Bangla Bhai’ in the Rajshahi division during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, she said the present government contained such militancy with iron hand.

The Prime Minister said that as part of the election pledges, her government has created massive employment opportunities for the youths, imparting them training in various trade and providing collateral free loans from the Employment Bank.

Elaborating various steps of her government for the spread of education, she said free textbooks are being given up to secondary level and stipends being provided to the students up to degree level while over 26,200 non-government primary schools were nationalized.

Besides, she mentioned the successes of her government in facing the acute power shortage and reducing poverty through expanding social safety network program.

Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Alauddin Ahmed and Awami League leaders Kazi Jafarullah,  Satish Chandra Roy, Mahbubul Alam Hanif and Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan, and the party leaders from Naogaon district  were present.

Source: UNB Connect


  1. Who is afraid of the caretaker system?

    Sheikh Hasina says that Khaleda Zia would be in jail if the power is given to a caretaker government. This may or may not be true, we do not know, but she is quite convinced about the bleak future of Khaleda Zia. The question is: what will happen to the prime minister herself and her family?

    The most likely scenario if a caretaker/interim, politically neutral, government is allowed to take control of the state machinery before the next elections:
    1. Sheikh Hasina and her party will suffer nearly total electoral defeat.
    2. In the absence of a viable alternative, BNP will win most parliament seats and form the next government.

    The above prospect is unthinkable to Sheikh Hasina and her party. The ground reality is: she can not leave the seat of power even if she wants to do so.
    The reasons are several. The main reasons: (1) she can not imagine for a moment that Khaleda Zia will again occupy the seat of power and she has to take seat in the opposition bench. Her personal hatred about Khaleda Zia and her family is well known. (2) New investigations will be launched into the the 2009 BDR massacre to find out the real perpetrators and their accomplices including a RAW hand behind the incident. (3) All the secret treaties she has signed with India on different important issues affecting the vital national interests of Bangladesh to the unilateral benefit of India will be made public and the next BNP government would not honour those treaties. (4) India wants Hasina/AL government to remain in power for at least another 5 years so that all or most of its strategic/economic demands are met by Bangladesh. India does not trust Khaleda Zia to blindly serve its interests. (5) All the cases of big corruptions such as those associated with the Destinty scam, Share market scam, Padma Bridge, Nuclear Power plant and arms deals, energy sectors, etc. will be opened, which might reveal the corruptions by Sheikh Hasina’s family and top AL leaders. (Many BNP leaders are also corruption-prone, so even if they come to power, it is not certain that they will be sincere in these investigations, but there would be tremendous public pressure to reduce/control the level of corruption).

    Any caretaker or interim government will have to be supported by the Army and security forces. These forces are under her control at the moment, but she does not trust their allegiance if she is not in power. She has given promotion to several key officers supposed to be working for her, but she also understands that they may not follow her agenda in future. In fact military intervention has its own dynamics. She might just remember ZA Bhutto-Ziaul Huq relationships in Pakistan.

    The irony is that she is vehemently opposed to a neutral caretaker/interim government led by anybody (backed by military or not) other than herself. It is evident that she wants elections to be held (with or without BNP) herself remaining in the seat of absolute power and the current MPs still remaining MPs during elections. Is this acceptable to BNP and other opposition parties?

    I agree with Sheikh Hasina that Army intervention in politics is not good for democracy and the country’s future. But it is she who has encouraged or condoned Army interventions in the past. In fact she is the instigator and beneficiary of the Army-led Fakhruddin caretaker government 2007-08. If she is so adamant about the misdeeds of that government, why she has not spoken one word against Gen Moinuddin and how she has still kept Gen Masududdin (another key figure in the Moinuddin-Fakhruddin regime) in government service? This indicates the worst kind of opportunism and double-talk on the part of Sheikh Hasina.


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