PM asks BNP to find causes of polls debacle

The Daily Star January 10, 2019

PM asks BNP to find causes of polls debacle

BSS, Dhaka

Urging BNP to find out the reasons behind its defeat in the last general election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said a party that failed to mobilize people for a movement cannot win public support in the election fray.

“BNP has many reasons for their defeat in the December 30, 2018 election. One is their failure to wage anti-government agitation involving people,” she said.

The prime minister was addressing a discussion marking ‘Bangabandhu’s Home Coming Day’ from Pakistani prison on January 10, 1972 after Bangladesh got independence defeating Pakistani occupation forces in a nine-month bloody war.

Bangladesh Awami League Central Working Committee organized the discussion at Bangladesh Krishibid Institution (KBI).

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, was in the chair while party leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AKM Rhmatullah and Shah Alam Murad, among others, took part in the discussion. Party leaders Dr Hasan Mahmud and Aminul Islam conducted the meeting.

“I would ask BNP to find the causes of their defeat,” Sheikh Hasina said adding that “a political party which failed in movement cannot win the election, and it was proved in the 2018 election.”

Other reasons for BNP’s debacle in the election is their misdeeds in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the prime minister said adding that people didn’t forget their mayhem when they torched more than 3,900 transports, burnt more than 3,500 people of whom more than 500 succumbed to injuries.

“Women, children, elderly persons and students and even trees could not escape from their attacks. So, how can they expect that people will vote them?” she asked.

The Prime Minister said choosing a fugitive convict to head the party is also a major cause for BNP’s defeat in the election.

“As their main leader is serving in prison for eating up an orphanage’s money, her son was made acting chairperson, who was convicted in a number of cases including a case for smuggling 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition, the 21 August grenade attack and a money laundering case where FBI has given deposition against him.

“Was there no leader in BNP except a convicted person to be made their chairman?” Sheikh Hasina asked. She said trading with nomination is another major cause of BNP’s disaster in the election.

“They (BNP) put their nomination in auction and the highest bidder got nomination. Many of them met with me and spoke of their anguish,” she said.

Above all, the prime minister said BNP has given nomination to 25 leaders of Jamaat, a party which was declared illegal by the country’s highest court. She said, “People of Bangladesh now believe in the spirit of the War of Liberation and they will never give vote for any war criminal.”

As a political party, she said, BNP doesn’t pursue any principle. “They are guided by vice like corruption, terrorism, money laundering, eating up orphans’ money and burning people alive,” she added.

“So, how they expect to win the election. People of Bangladesh never accepted it, and they will not accept it in future,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation has liberated the country, but people of Bangladesh suffered immensely for 29 years from 1975 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2008 as anti-liberation forces ruled the country during that time.

“People of Bangladesh found prosperity only when Awami League was in power as the party is guided by the principles of Bangabandhu,” she said adding that “economic emancipation of the people is our main goal and we want to establish peace and security in public life.”

The prime minister said Awami League had framed its election manifesto aimed at making Bangladesh a developed and prosperous nation in South Asia. Each and every economic plan of Awami League government was undertaken in light of the election manifesto to take forward the country at a quick pace.

Awami League took the country to the trajectory of a developing country from LDC in only ten years which other parties could not do in 28 years as they had no faith in country’s independence and development of the nation, Sheikh Hasina said.

The prime minister said post 1975 rulers had tried to thwart out all achievements of Bangladesh through killing Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975. Bangladesh could not go ahead because of their conspiracy and failure.

Sheikh Hasina said living condition of the people of Bangladesh improved only when Awami League was in power. The development carried out by the Awami League government is stretched up to rural level.

“All of our successes are reaching the people at the grassroots. So people have voted us to power to carry forward the development works,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina expressed gratitude to the countrymen for casting their vote for Awami League and to the professionals for overwhelming support in the election.

The prime minister said her party is running the country in line with the directives of Bangabandhu, which he drew up in his speech after returning home from Pakistani prison on January 10, 1972.

“The Father of the Nation is no more with us, but Bangladesh would have been a developed country within ten years of independence if Bangabandhu was alive among us,” she said adding that “we are working keeping his spirit in our heart.”

Sheikh Hasina urged all the leaders and workers of the party and workers to work with dedication and sacrifice to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu, saying, “People have bestowed their immense confidence in us. So, we have to value their confidence.”

Sheikh Hasina said next five years would be a hard time for her party as the government must continue the pace of development and take forward Bangladesh toward prosperity as pledged by it.

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