Prime Minister’s Adviser HT Imam on Monday claimed his speech was represented ‘fragmentarily’ by a section of the media spreading a wrong message that he assured Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men of civil service jobs and alleged planned mechanism during the January-5 national election.
“The main objective of my speech addressing the young students was academic and educational. But the appalling thing is that some newspapers and electronic media represented my remarks in a dissociating way using fragmentary phrases that the gist of my full remark has changed,” he told a press conference at Awami League president Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi political office.
Earlier on Wednesday, HT Imam during his address at a BCL program at Dhaka University TSC reportedly said, “You just pass the written test, we’ll see how much we can help you with the viva voce. Our leader (Sheikh Hasina) has told us to arrange jobs for you by any means.”
He also pointed out the advantage of having party men in the administration, and how the AL benefited from them.
“Days before the January-5 polls, many pro-Awami League officials were inducted into mobile courts that helped the government resist the BNP-Jamaat’s bid to thwart the election. They (pro-AL officials) stood beside us,” Imam said.
Speaking at today’s press conference, HT Imam said, “I was not in the government when it went under the Election Commission for holding 10th parliamentary polls. So, there’s no question of conducting mobile courts.”
Imam continued, “But I discharged duties as the cochairman of Awami League election steering committee. We had informed the Election Commission and the administration in different constituencies about BNP-Jamaat’s effort to resist the polls. We sought remedy by raising allegations as per rules. Then we had requested for conducting mobile courts. By telling ‘our recruit’ I meant all employees of the republic those who have no party identity.”
“Is it wrong to seek help to stop violence, to maintain people’s right to vote and save public property?” he added.
About his comment on the BCS examination, the former bureaucrat said “I clearly told them (BCL) that BCL men must study and they would get jobs only when they will be considered qualified, including passing the written test.”
“I told them that you wouldn’t able to fare well in the examinations without merit and study. You have to do better in the written examination as 1000 marks are there. There’ll be nothing significant in the viva-voce if you don’t fare well in the written examination. I also said to guide them for viva-voce if they can come out successful in their written examinations,” he added.
HT Imam also noted that the BNP-Jamaat clique took full advantage of the ‘fragmentary’ representation of his speech.
“The quarter which wrongly explained my remarks are no one but those who are busy finding faults of others and wrongly criticizing the government,” he said.
The quarter is trying to create a smokescreen around to confuse people for their own interest, and for holding back the progress of the nation, he added.
In reply to a question whether he communicated with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after the incident, Imam said, “I didn’t directly communicate with the PM in this regard. She is sick and she needs rest. I have no mentality to annoy her in my personal matter under the circumstances.”
Prime Minister’s adviser Dr Moshiur Rahman was, among others, present at the press conference.
HT Imam disowns his reported comments