bdnews24.com | 09 Jan 2020
Obaidul Quader has said the luxury watches and suits he wears have been gifted by the Awami League activists abroad.
The ruling party general secretary responded to media at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Thursday on a recent report on his watches.
The Sweden-based Netra News website cannot be viewed in Bangladesh reportedly after it carried the story last month.
“All the watches I have are not my own. I haven’t bought them,” Quader said.
Netra News showed different photos of Quader wearing seven watches priced between Tk 900,000 and Tk 2.8 million apiece.
“For God’s sake, I say that I haven’t bought these [watches], expensive dresses. Many activists who live abroad bring these suits for me perhaps because they love me. Like, one of them brought three coats from Singapore,” Quader said.
“If you bring something and present me, what can I do? It’s a gift item!”
Netra News reported that one of the seven watches costs nearly the amount Quader gets annually as the road transport and bridges minister.
He had made no mention of them in his wealth statement he had filed to the Election Commission in affidavit before the last parliamentary polls, the report added.
The news portal alleged he had taken the watch as bribe in exchange for a contract.
Quader denied the allegation. “I can swear that (I have taken) nothing from any contractor…no contractor is even allowed to meet me. This had happened in the past,” he said.
The ruling party leader claimed no one can influence him for promotion now.
“The contractors had offered an amount before the election, but I rejected it outright. The prime minister herself gave me money for the election. I didn’t need to take money from anyone else,” he said.