Inside Politics

Bloomberg predicts Sheikh Hasina winning a straight fourth term

Publish: 10:00 AM, 29 Mar, 2023


In a latest article on loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Bloomberg said, “Government leaders across the world have often balked at implementing reforms agreed with the International Monetary Fund for fear of being penalized at the ballot box. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina isn’t one of them.

“Her quick execution of IMF mandates have stood out in South Asia where Pakistan is still fiddling with fuel subsidies just as it inches closer to reviving a bailout. Sri Lanka has delayed local municipal polls as it raised taxes and interest rates to clinch IMF funds last week.

“Bangladesh, which in July became the last of the three countries to ask for IMF support, was the first to get loans approved after swiftly raising energy prices. Hasina, 75, made no apologies for the move”.

Commenting on the next general election in Bangladesh, Bloomberg said: “[Sheikh] Hasina is widely expected to win a fourth straight term in national polls expected by January 2024 — not least because many of her opponents are behind bars or ensnared in legal cases”.

While main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and opposition in the parliament Jatiya Party are talking about Bangladeshis becoming increasingly annoyed at the ruling Awami League, Michael Kugelman, director of the Wilson Center’s South Asia Institute told Bloomberg: “If the ruling party manages to maintain economic stability, that could preempt anger or public sentiment that works against the government. Hasina certainly has the credibility to pull this off”.

Still there is conspiracy against Sheikh Hasina and her government both inside and outside the country, where in some cases, the Biden administration, as well as the US ambassador in Dhaka, are seen talking in such a tone that certainly go against the sovereignty of any country. In the recent days, Americans are repeating talking about free and fair election in Bangladesh. Of course, we also want free and fair election in our country. But we need to remind members of Biden administration that in their own country free and fair election is already under serious controversy, where 2020 presidential election is alleged to be rigged. Whenever American ambassador in Dhaka speaks about human rights, freedom of expression or corruption, he should be reminded, his president and members of the Biden family are facing series of allegations of crimes and corruption, while US government has already been caught red-handed by Twitter owner Elon Musk proving how federal agencies had nakedly intervened into public opinion and suppressed information related to corruption and crimes of Hunter Biden and other members of Biden family – simply with the nefarious agenda of helping Biden in winning 2020 election.

Back to titled topic. According to Bloomberg, Sheikh Hasina is banking on her government’s move to go to the IMF to show to markets and voters that she has prevented the US$460 billion Bangladeshi economy from going the way Sri Lanka has with a default. Pakistan is also facing the prospect of a default. Bangladesh went to the IMF as it grappled with an energy crisis with commodity prices soaring last year due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, while the rising costs of imports widened the trade deficit. The local currency depreciated by a fifth and reserves fell to the lowest in three years.

It may be mentioned here that, following economic catastrophe in Sri Lanka, almost all the opposition political parties in Bangladesh – including Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jatiya Party were repeatedly forecasting a similar fate for Bangladesh “within weeks”. But that has never happened – because of effective decision and efforts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. But it is important to note, while Bangladesh has witnessed annual economic growth of more than 6 percent for the past 14 years this may face some obstacles in the coming years mostly because of Ukraine war and sanctions imposed on Russia. At this stage, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina needs to focus on cutting-off subsidies from most of the sectors immediately. Bangladesh government needs to issue red warning to Bangladesh Biman, Bangladesh Railway, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation and all those entities which have been incurring heavy financial loss for years. At the same time, massive subsidies to private power generation projects, including so-called ‘Quick Rental Power’ projects should be stopped and the government needs to find alternative ways – for example establish coal-based power plant in Boro Pukuria, establish at least two more nuclear power stations and put emphasis on solar power especially in the rural areas.

Most importantly – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina needs to declare war against corruption and take stern action against those who are already accused of smuggling-out hundreds of millions of dollars from Bangladesh to various countries. For Sheikh Hasina, an all-out battle against corruption and massive action against corrupt individuals – as we had witnessed immediately after military-backed interim government came to power in January 2007 – is extremely essential and it should take place forthwith.


Inside Politics

AL does politics for countrymen: Quader

Publish: 02:03 AM, 23 Jun, 2024


Awami League (AL) General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said their party does politics for the people of the country.

“The message of the 75th founding anniversary of Awami League is to implement its election manifesto. Politics is for people and Awami League was always beside the countrymen and it will remain with the people in the future as well,” he said.

The AL general secretary said this to reporters after visiting the venue of the party’s public rally to be held tomorrow at Suhrawardy Udyan here marking its founding anniversary.

Quader said all leaders and activists of AL from central to root level are ready to celebrate the party’s founding anniversary. A festive environment has been prevailing across the country centering the anniversary from last Friday, he said.

He said the big achievement of the country’s independence was attained under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Awami League. Besides, the country’s development has been achieved under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.

The AL general secretary said, “We do politics for the people. We remain beside the countrymen and will be so in future also. Now, the main aim of the party (AL) is to complete unfinished works, build a non-communal country defeating the communal forces and militancy, implement the election manifesto and control price inflation.”

He said efforts are going on to complete ongoing Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and Payra Sea Port.

Quader said, “We couldn’t consolidate the independence till now. Communalism is the main obstacle to freedom.”

Urging all to remain alert, the AL general secretary said a vested quarter is active till now and it wants to create an environment like the one-eleven.

AL joint general secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, organizing secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, Mirza Azam and SM Kamal Hossain, cultural affairs secretary Ashim Kumar Ukil, office secretary Biplob Barua, deputy publicity secretary Syed Abdul Awal Shamim, executive committee member Anisul Islam and Krishak League president Samir Chanda, among others, were present.


Inside Politics

BNP leaders suffer from mental trauma: Quader

Publish: 06:38 PM, 19 May, 2024


Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said BNP leaders are making absurd comments, as they are suffering from mental trauma.

He said this while replying to a question after joining a programme in a city hotel. About BNP leaders claim that AL men also didn’t cast their votes in elections, Quader said, “This
claim of BNP is not true.”

The Election Commission announced that 30-40 percent votes were cast in the upazila polls while 42pc voters exercised their franchise in the national polls.

If 42 pc people cast their votes, then how voters boycott polls, he questioned.

“Actually BNP leaders are suffering from mental trauma. That is why, they are making absurd comments in free style. Their comments are not realistic,” he said.

Asked about BNP’s fresh preparation to wage movement, the AL general secretary said BNP has right to wage movement as a political party.

“If BNP wages movement in a peaceful manner, we will face them politically,” he said. But if they carry out arson attack or make sabotage likewise the past in the name of movement, the government will take actions accordingly and AL will also face them politically, he said.

Awami League   Obaidul Quader  


Inside Politics

BNP leaders are tired, its activists frustrated: Quader

Publish: 01:55 PM, 20 Mar, 2024


Awami League (AL) General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said BNP leaders are talking nonsense as they are tired, and their activists are frustrated.
"The party (BNP) leaders are now criticizing the government blindly in the name of iftar party. In fact, I don't know whether it is 'iftar party' or 'criticise party'. They are organizing those ifatr parties only to criticize the Awami League, not to praise Almighty Allah," he said.
The AL general secretary told reporters after a view-exchange meeting with the leaders of Sramik League and Krishak League of Dhaka south and north units at AL central office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue.

Quader said, "It is necessary to reply with the rubbish, if the BNP lies. They (BNP) should stop lying, he said.
About an allegation of creating conflict and splitting the BNP, he said, "Why will we create a split in the BNP? We have no weaknesses. Awami League has many leaders and activists. The countrymen witnessed a massive crowd during the collecting of AL nomination forms ahead of the last parliamentary polls. The Awami League has no crisis."

Over the 'Kings' Party', the AL general secretary, said the Awami League has no need to create any Kings' Party. There are many people who want to form a political party before the polls to get gratuitous benefits, he said.
Over the allegation of the joining of Shakib Al Hasan to 'Kings Party', Quader said, "I noticed the issue in the media. I have no idea about the matter. But, Shakib participated in the election with AL ticket and won. He got the primary membership of the party before seeking nomination."
Criticising a comment by a BNP leader, the minister said BNP thinks that some countries will put them in power. But, the reality is that the people are the owners of the country, and they will decide who go into power, he said, adding there is no possibility to change the government without the support of the people.
About a report on democracy of an observer team from the US, "We have our own criteria of democracy. No one is perfect in the world. We also know it. A former president of the US has claimed that if he didn't get elected, bloodbaths would have happened in the country. What type of democracy is it? Even the former president didn't accept the elected president of the USA till now. So, it is difficult to understand the criteria of democracy."
Quader said military rulers and their allies were in power for 21 years in Bangladesh and there were no practices of democracy. Later, a political party had formed the government, but it is regrettably true that they also did farce election on February 15 in the name of democracy, he said.
About the prices of essentials, the AL general secretary said the prices of some commodities have already been reduced. The government is also trying to reduce the prices of other essential commodities, he said.
AL organizing secretaries - BM Mozammel Haque and Mirza Azam, office secretary Barrister Biplob Barua, deputy office secretary Sayem Khan, executive members Sahabuddin Farazi and Anisul Islam, among others, were present.

Awami League   Obaidul Quader  


Inside Politics

Quader suggests BNP make preparations for next election instead of next movement

Publish: 04:24 PM, 16 Feb, 2024


Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Friday advised BNP to prepare for the next general election instead of thinking about the next movement.

He made the suggestion at a joint meeting of the party held at the Awami League central office in the capital this morning.

Regarding BNP's movement until victory, Quader said Mirza Fakhrul has become overwhelmed with daydreams after getting out of jail.

At the time, the AL leader stated that, “BNP should recognise that the issue of issue-based movement in the country cannot be found while the people's administration is in power.”

In his introductory speech at the joint meeting, Quader said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangabandhu, has brought great honour to the country by participating in the Security Conference in Germany. Today, the democratic world has unhesitatingly accepted the importance of Bangladesh.”

"The geopolitical position of Bangladesh is fertile ground for many of our enemies. Many falcons have eyes on the Bay of Bengal and St. Martin. However, Sheikh Hasina's government has led to the success of balanced diplomacy", he added.

At this time, Quader said that the party president instructed the divisional in-charge to resolve the internal disputes of the party, including the formation of the expired committee.

Obaidul Quader   Awami League   Mirza Fakhrul   BNP  


Inside Politics

2024 election was the fairest since 1975: PM

Publish: 10:45 AM, 08 Feb, 2024


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said this year's January 7 polls were the freest, fairest and most credible in Bangladesh after 1975.

"I think the election that was held in Bangladesh on January 7 this year was the freest, fairest and most neutral since 1975," she told a view exchange meeting with Tungipara Awami League leaders and activists at her official Ganabhaban residence.

Sheikh Hasina said the BNP-Jamaat wanted to foil the January 7 polls by doing various misdeeds. But the most important thing of the election is that the people spontaneously went to the polling stations and cast their vote, she said.

Mentioning that the journey ahead is not so easy, the Prime Minister said "Many obstacles have to be overcome. Many conspiracies surround this Bangladesh."

The people of Bangladesh have become financially secure today, she said, adding, people of Bangladesh are getting food today and are receiving treatment easily.

She went on saying, over 30 types of medicines are given free of charge through community clinics and today there is no need to bring old clothes from abroad.

Sheikh Hasina said that they have arranged rice and clothes as well as ensured medical treatment and education for the country's people. "In this way we are working for the welfare of people."

Regarding the commodity prices, she said that global food prices have increased, and that is why the government has to pay a huge amount of money to buy fertilisers, seeds, wheat, fuel oil, edible oil and gas.

"We have to buy many things from abroad. As the price of everything has gone up, the cost of transportation has gone up because of the Ukraine-Russia war," she added.

The head of government noted that there is a little difficulty for those who have a fixed income, saying "if we all cultivate the uncultivated lands, then there will be no shortage of this food. Moreover, we can make more surplus, we can also give to the people."

Laying emphasis on brining uncultivated land under cultivation, she said "wherever there is fallow land, we should bring it under cultivation. We will do whatever we can to help. At the same time, we will make arrangement for marketing through cooperatives."

 Sheikh Hasina said, "We have a plan to store food grains in every district; When there is a surplus. We have already made arrangements to this end."

She urged everyone to be frugal in the use of electricity and water.

Addressing the chairmen and members of Union Parishads, the Prime Minister said that the government gives many projects and works, and those should be implemented properly.

"People should not be ticked off (seeing the bad work), rather they can bring confidence by seeing the work, and this trust is most needed," she added.


election   fairest