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Alliance with corrupt people to fight corruption, quips PM
Mentioning that Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman are convicted in graft cases, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said Jukto Front leaders Kamal Hossain and Badruddoza Chowdhury had got together with corrupt people to fight against corruption.
‘Getting together with all such corrupt persons, Kamal Hossain and Badruddoza Chowdhury will fight corruption now. Manna will also fight,’ she quipped while addressing a civic reception accorded to her by the USA chapter of Awami League at Hilton Hotel in New York on Sunday (local time).
Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda Zia had been convicted for embezzlement of the money of orphans while Tarique Zia in the 10-truck arms-haul case and a corruption case.
She said former caretaker government adviser Mainul Hosein, who was 'convicted' in Kakrail land dispute case, also joined them.
Besides, Sheikh Hasina said, Barrister Moudud Ahmed who availed of former president HM Ershad's clemency after being convicted in a corruption case and lost his Gulshan house for occupying it illegally was also with them.
Criticising Muhammad Yunus, the prime minister said he did not quit the post of managing director at Grameen Bank despite winning the Nobel Prize. ‘Now he's rich providing loan to the poor at a high interest rate.’
Yunus made the World Bank's finance to the Padma Bridge suspended with the help of his friend Hillary Clinton, she said adding, ‘After my arrest during the caretaker government, he (Yunus) awarded double A plus mark to the Iajuddin-led government.’
‘Now all these people an interest taker (Shudkhor), a bribe taker, one plunderer and a killer involved in 21 August killing attempt —are now got together on a single platform,’ Hasina said.
Referring to Jukta Front, the prime minister said, ‘Why will it have to oust the government? What's the reason? What the work did we leave undone for the country? There's no such a sector where there's no development ...these (developments) have been possible as Awami League is in power.’
Pointing at Kamal Hossain, Hasina said a noted person did the politics of Awami League in the past and then went out to form a party of his own but failed.
‘Since he couldn't develop a party, they all are now on the same platform. Who's he? My uncle Kamal Hossain. He got together with Badu Kaka (uncle) of BNP's Tarique Zia who was forced to run away along the rail line being chased when he came out Bangabhaban,’ she said.
The prime minister said Mahmudur Rahman Manna was elected president and secretary of Dhaka University Central Student Union again and again as he had been in the good book of Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad.
Hasina, however, said, ‘I would like to want to welcome them as they've been able to come under one platform at least. Let them do it. Let them join the election. If people cast their votes for them, they'll come to power. I've no problem because I've no desire to have anything.’
Noting that there are both merits and demerits of social networking sites and digital devices, the prime minister said her government passed the digital security bill to prevent the bad impacts of the sites and devices.
Blasting the journalists for criticising the bill, she said, ‘The journalists only think about their own interests, but they don't consider the social problems caused by the digital devices.’
Sheikh Hasina focused on socio-economic uplift and the development of various sectors.
Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, AL presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP also spoke on the occasion. PM's adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam and chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign ministry Dipu Moni were, among others, present.
US Awami League president Siddiqur Rahman presided over the programme.