Criticising BNP leaders for their movement to have their party chief Khaleda Zia released, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked them whether their movement is for the thief who has landed in jail for plundering money.
"Today, BNP leaders are carrying out a movement. For what is this movement? Their leader has landed in jail for looting money. Is the movement for the thief?" she said while addressing a public rally at Rajshahi Government Alia Madrasa Maidan in the city, reports UNB.
"She (Khaleda) is enduring the punishment today as she could not provide orphans the money to orphans that came for them in the last 27 years," she said.
“Where is the orphanage? How many orphans are there and have they got a single penny?” asked Hasina, adding that BNP could not answer to these questions.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda is currently behind bars after a special court found her guilty and sentenced her to five years imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case earlier this month.
The High Court on Thursday accepted her pleas for bail and appeal against the February 8 verdict. The court is also set to hear the bail plea on Sunday.
At the rally jointly arranged by Awami League’s Rajshahi district and city units on Thursday, the prime minister also said the money was brought from abroad for setting up an orphanage in 1991, but they embezzled it resorting to anomalies, reports UNB.
"Looting and stealing are their characters. Bangladesh was the world champion in corruption index for five consecutive years when BNP was in power," he said.
Seeking vote for 'boat', the Awami League’s electoral symbol, in the next parliamentary elections and upcoming polls to local bodies, the ruling party chief said her government is developing the country and this trend of development will continue.
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opens 21 development projects and lays the foundation stones of 12 other schemes by unveiling their plaques before a rally at the Rajshahi Government Alia Madrasa Maidan on Thursday, February 22, 2018 | Focus Bangla
"We will make the country prosperous and free from hunger," Hasina said.
She said when Awami League comes to power, the country sees development, but BNP indulges in looting when it comes to power. "If anyone fails to contain greed of plundering orphans' money, what will he or she do for the country?"
Talking about Bangabandhu Memorial Trust fund, she said the caretaker government desperately searched for possible anomalies in the trust fund aiming to implicate her in the case, but it found nothing.
“Now you can think what welfare they can do, who can burn people to death,” Hasina said.
Describing various development works carried out by the government, the prime minister said her administration’s main objectives are to carry out development programs and ensure the welfare of people.
Referring to militant leader Bangla Bhai, she said Rajshahi region was a sanctuary for terrorists and militants, and people could not sleep in peace when BNP-Jamaat was in power. “The BNP-Jamaat clique had made Rajshahi a city of terrorism and created Bangla Bhai.”
She said though the Awami League-backed mayoral candidate was not elected in the last election to Rajshahi City Corporation in 2013, the government allocated huge funds for the city’s development, but the mayor failed to implement the development projects.
Observing that there is no famine in the northern region anymore, Hasina said her government removed the famine taking effective steps against it.