The BNP is no longer in a state to seek votes as it stands tainted by corruption, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.
“The people, who want to see progress, will never ever vote for them. They (BNP) have patronised the war criminals, the anti-liberation forces, they have burnt people alive,” she said at a discussion held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Sunday.
The programme was arranged in observance of the Intellectual Martyrs Day and Victory Day, reports Bdnews24.com.
She referenced the money laundering charges against Tarique Rahman and late Arafat Rahman Coco, the sons of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Hasina said: “They are not in a position to face the people and ask for votes. There is hardly any chance that the party will rise to power ever again”
Condemning the BNP, the arch rival of the ruling Awami League, Hasina said: “People who aim for power only are unable to create anything or make sacrifices. They long for riches only.”
In her speech, the prime minister mentioned how the war criminals were empowered after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“All the convicted war criminals were released after the murder of the father of the nation in 1975. Even, those living in Pakistan with Pakistani passports were brought back to the country.
“What a misfortune! Those who fought for the country were penalised and those who carried out genocide and raped women got the opportunity to rule,” Hasina went on.
Hasina flayed BNP founder Ziaur Rahman for “rehabilitating war criminals.”
“He was a freedom fighter. The father of the nation promoted him to the rank of major general. But that crooked Ziaur Rahman rehabilitated the war criminals.”
With the Indemnity Ordinance, Zia gave immunity from legal action to the persons involved in the assassination of Bangabandhu, claimed Hasina, his daughter.
“Both Zia and Ershad have served the anti-liberation forces. Then Khaleda Zia took it to a different level. She went to the extent of befriending them.”
The Awami League president came down hard on the BNP for harbouring the war crimes convicts.
She narrated how people were burnt, mosques were put afire and trees and roads were ravaged when the Awami League initiated the trial of the 1971 war criminals.
“We build and they (BNP) drag the country back towards destruction.
“Who are leading these atrocities? The cadres of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami follow the orders of Khaleda Zia only. Her son stands accused of laundering money, ordering grenade attacks and what not,” said Hasina.
“Progress happens when the Awami League, the party of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, takes over,” she said assuring the people of further development if elected again.
Elated by the people’s active participation in Victory Day celebrations, the prime minister said: “No-one will never ever be able to play with fate of the people of this country again. Let’s pledge on the occasion of Victory Day that we will not let that happen.”
Awami League Publicity Secretary Hasan Mahmud moderated the discussion. The party’s Advisory Council Member Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Presidium members Matia Chowdhury and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, and Shaheen Reza Noor, son of martyred journalist Sirajuddin Hossain, also spoke at the event.