Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said a group of political parties joined hands with BNP-Jamaat alliance to try to oust her government and return the country to an era of darkness again.
“Mr Manna, Dr Kamal Hossain, Communist Party, left leaning parties are now tagged with BNP-Jamaat alliance for forging movement to oust the Awami League government,” she said in naming the leaders and parties.
Hasina, also the president of ruling Awami League, was speaking at the opening of a weeklong programme marking the Golden Jubilee founding anniversary of Bangladesh Krishak League, an associate body of the party.
The programme was held at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh while the prime minister joined it virtually.
“What is their motive to oust the government”, she asked. “(It is just) to deprive the people from all the facilities that are being given by the government,” she said.
She said that there are some political leaders in the country who never remain beside the people during any crisis, but are very much busy to talk about movement for ousting the Awami League government.
“What is the fault of Awami League government? Why do they want to oust it?” she wondered.
Hasina said people voted Awami League to power in 2008 national polls in support of the party’s election manifesto.
“In that manifesto we had declared Vision 2021. I am expressing my gratitude towards the people of the country for electing us repeatedly,” she said.
She also said that the government has attained the targets declared in the party’s election manifestoes.
“We have promoted our country from least developed country to developing country while we were celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence,” she said.
Referring to her critics she again wondered why don’t they like the country’s graduation to a developing country. “Is it the reason why they want to remove this government?” she said adding, “My question to them is what’s our crime.”
She said that the government has taken steps to change the fate of all people of the country including those in the grassroots.
Mass people living in the grassroots level and rural areas
are getting benefits from the government’s development programmes, she added.
The PM said that the government has given importance on the research on agriculture so that the country gets more positive results in food production along with other related issues.
She also mentioned that the government has taken numerous development programmes for the welfare of the mass people of the country.
Briefly describing various steps taken for the welfare of agriculture and farmers, she said the government is determined to achieve the goals.
“We have forged a system so that farmers get the fair price of their produced items,” she said.
Bangladesh Krishak League President Samir Chandra and former presidents of Krishak League Dr Mirza Abdul Jalil and Motahar Hossain Molla, former Krishak League general secretaries Mizanur Rahman and Harun Ur Rashid Hawladar and current secretary Umme Kulsum also spoke at the programme.
A video documentary on Krishak League was screened at the programme.
The prime minister also unveiled ‘Krishak Kantha’, a publication of Krishak League.
Bashundhara Group stands by 10,000 cold-hit people in Faridpur
Bashundhara Group, the country’s largest business conglomerate, distributed blankets among 10,000 cold-hit people of Sadar, Nagarkanda, Saltha and Sadarpur upazilas of Faridpur.
The blankets were distributed with the all out support from Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir.
Bashundhara Group's executive director and Faridpur district Awami League’s industries and commerce affairs secretary Advocate Jamal Hossain Miah distributed the blankets at Talma Union Parishad chairman’s residence on Friday morning.
Speaking on the occasion, Jamal Hossain Miah said, “Bashundhara Group always stands by the people of the country. With the help of Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, blankets are being distributed among the cold-hit people across the country, including Faridpur. Bashundhara Group will continue effort to serve people in the future.”
After getting blankets, the poor people expressed their gratitude to Bashundhara Group for giving them worm cloth during this bone-chilling cold.
Bashundhara Group general manager Md Yunus Khan, Chief Operating Officer (Banking Sector) Md Razib Samad, Faridpur Press Club general secretary and Bangladesh Pratidin correspondent Kamruzzaman Sohel and Talma Union Parishad Chairman Kamal Hossain Mia were present among others in the event.
League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader
pays a courtesy visit to Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, Chairman of country’s leading
industrial conglomerate Bashundhara Group.
Obaidul Quader was greeted with flowers by the Bashundhara family during the meeting at the Bashundhara Group chairman's residence in the capital on Monday.
Bashundhara Group Managing Director, Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited Chairman and Bangladesh Jeweller’s Association President Sayem Sobhan Anvir, Rongdhanu Group Chairman Alhaz M Rafiqul Islam, Awami League Office Secretary Biplab Barua, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam and Badda thana Awami League General Secretary AM Jahangir Alam were also present during the meeting.
Leaders of Narayanganj district and Rupganj upazila units of Awami League held a view-exchange meeting with Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan on the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Rupganj.
MP from Narayanganj-4 constituency AKM Shamim Osman, Rongdhanu Group Chairman Alhaz Rafiqul Islam, Rupganj upazila AL General Secretary Alhaz Shahjahan Bhuiyan, Vice-President Barrister Khan Mohammad Shamim Aziz, Bashundhara Group Director Liakat Hossain, Kanchan municipality Mayor Alhaz Rafiqul Islam Rafiq, former upazila AL Vice-President Khandaker Abul Bashar Tuku, Daudpur Union Parishad Chairman Alhaz Nurul Islam Jahangir, Rupganj Union Parishad Chairman Alhaz Saladuddin Bhuiyan, upazila AL Information and Research Secretary Kamal Hossain Kamal, Health and Population Secretary Dr Faisal Ahmed and Kanchan municipality AL leader Tariqul Islam Mughal were present at the meeting held at the Bashundhara Group Chairman’s residence in Bashundhara Residential Area in the capital on Monday.
The Awami League retains a “significant level of support” and there is still a lot for the government in Bangladesh to point to as a success story amid current challenges, says Michael Kugelman, director of the newly created South Asia Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.
“We have to keep in mind that the ruling party Awami League has been in power since 2009 and it retains a significant level of support,” he said, noting that the party has been able to bring success stories on the economic front and in countering terrorism.
Kugelman said that even if someone talks about all the bad things happening in Bangladesh, the bottom line is that there is still a lot for the government in Bangladesh which helps it sustain a significant level of success and there are people who see reasons to support it.
Mark Goldberg recently sat down with Kugelman to discuss the recent protests in Bangladesh. The Foreign Policy magazine published the podcast recently.
Responding to a question, Kugelman said Bangladesh has been a regional success story for its economic growth. “It's a global success story.”
He described what had happened over the last few months, including consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war, high level of inflation, rising fuel cost and responses from the government like rationing electricity amid power shortages.
Kugelman said disruption in electricity supply was a major strain on the economy and sudden fall in economic productivity was an opportunity for the opposition to take to the street.
Corruption, one of the realities in Bangladesh, scandals in the financial sector could be another trigger for the opposition, he said, adding that economic problems and corruption gave the opposition opportunity to draw more attention.
Kugelman, however, said the protests launched by the opposition parties “was not a mass protest” but a partisan protest.
The foreign affairs expert said the government had the opportunity to explain the “temporary consequences” of external factors.
Kugelman said Bangladesh has demonstrated success in the area of counterterrorism and noted that there was a period when it was a significant problem in the country which had experienced series of deadly attacks.
He said the Awami League government took initiatives to crackdown really hard on the militants, and terrorism has not been a problem in Bangladesh over the last few years. “That’s another success story.”
Bangladesh has become a much bigger player on the global stage, including its role in peacekeeping operations and with its non-aligned and balanced foreign policy, he observed.
Responding to a question on “democratic backsliding” he said it is important to look back at the broader history of Bangladesh.
In the past, he said, BNP (when it was in power) was resorting to similar types of tactics and there were crackdowns as well as reports of enforced disappearances.
Kugelman said many things that are happening today were also happening when BNP was in power.
He said “undemocratic tactics” happen in many countries, including Bangladesh and elsewhere in South Asia, and described them as “hybrid democracy”.
Responding to another question, he said he does not think that there will be a Sri Lanka-like situation in Bangladesh as there are safety measures in the latter.
Kugelman said Bangladesh's economy is much more resilient than Sri Lanka’s has been.
He also responded to questions on Bangladesh’s next national election which he hoped will be held as per the constitution.