BNP doesn’t want peaceful power transfer, she says
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said there was an international conspiracy against the funding of the much-hyped Padma Bridge project.
"We have been the victim of an international conspiracy regarding the Padma Bridge", she said while delivering her introductory speech in a views-exchange meeting with the administrators of 61 districts at her official residence Ganobhaban yesterday.
During the 1996-2001 tenure, she said, her previous government had started the process to construct the Padma Bridge and then it was shelved during the BNP-Jamaat regime.
"When we returned to power this time, we restarted the project, and the World Bank on its own came forward to fund it," she said.
Hasina mentioned that when the construction process of the Bridge was going on, the World Bank at that time cancelled its funding alleging that there was corruption in the project.
"When we challenged their allegation, at that time they said that there was a conspiracy of corruption," the premier pointed out.
Hasina said the World Bank cancelled the funding although they could not prove the 'conspiracy of corruption'.
In this connection, she said the World Bank had cancelled all of its funding in the communications and power sectors during the BNP-Jamaat regime. "When we assumed office, they started funding again," she said.
The Prime Minister also expressed her firm stance that the government would never accept that allegation in which it is not involved.
She said when the World Bank had cancelled its funding, the government decided to construct the bridge with its own resources in the greater interest of people, especially for those of the southern region.
"We’ve already floated the tender, the related works of the bridge have started, and we’re not sitting idle," Hasina she said voicing her firm resolve that the bridge would be constructed for the welfare of people and it was the aim of her government.
Referring to the opposition leader's claim to construct two bridges over the Padma River if voted to power, the Prime Minister said that Khaleda Zia was in power twice. "How many bridges you (Khaleda) constructed?" she questioned.
While, the Prime Minister accusing BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia of creating anarchy and problems always, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the opposition leader does not believe in peaceful transfer of power.
"The BNP chairperson never believes in peaceful transfer of power and that’s why she created anarchy always in the past and she still creates problems," the Prime Minister said.
To solve the ongoing crisis in the country, Hasina said she gave a proposal to the opposition leader for engaging in a dialogue, but the opposition leader threw a 48-hour ultimatum in response.
She alleged that the opposition leader wanted to destabilize the country by using the Hefajat-e-Islam.
The Prime Minister mentioned that in Bangladesh history only AL has the instance to peacefully hand over power in 2001.
Recalling the uncertainties of May 5-6, she said all across the country were in grave anxiety. "People not only in the capital, but also across the country were in deep anxiety what will happen next," Hasina said.
The Awami League chief said BNP, Jamaat and Hefazat are doing politics in the country using Islam, but they burned the copies of hundreds of Holy Quran during the May 5-6 program of Hefazat-e-Islam.
Talking about the election, she said all elections that held under the present government in the last four and half years were peaceful, free and fair. "We strengthened the Election Commission to ensure the free, fair and neutral election in the country."
She also claimed that the Election Commission is working independently and enjoying the absolute freedom for holding elections.
In this connection, the Awami League president mentioned that the Election Commission so far held 5,753 various elections across the country. A total of 63,953 public representatives were elected in these elections and no allegation was raised about the polls," she said.
Hasina also criticized the opposition for carrying pout a false propaganda about the five city corporation elections. "Had those elections not been free, fair and neutral how the opposition-backed candidates have won the polls?" she questioned.
She said there is a constitution in the country and the election will be held as per the constitution following the examples of the other democratic countries around the world.
"We’ve proven that it is possible to hold a free, fair and neutral election in the country under the AL government," the Awami League chief said.
Referring to the opposition's threat that they would boycott the election under the AL government, Hasina questioned further: "My question is how long the people of the country will suffer, how far the people of the country will go through the uncertainty, every time during the transition of power."
She firmly said it is only AL that has the courage and power to hold a free, fair and neutral election. "Only we have that courage and power, no one else has that."
Recalling Khaleda Zia's recent claim that she would run the country in a different way if voted to power, Hasina said the opposition leader would open a new 'Hawa Bhaban' for corruption and bribery.
She hoped that the people of the country would not allow anyone to play with their fate.
PM finds int’l conspiracy against Padma project
BNP doesn’t want peaceful power transfer, she says