The government will show leniency in court cases filed against BNP leaders who participate in the upcoming parliamentary election but will be stricter against those who do not, an Awami League presidium member has claimed.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, several other ruling party leaders admitted that they did not mind seeing a weakened BNP if it would ensure their party victory for a third consecutive term.
“The government will send BNP leaders who refuse to participate in the polls to jail for cases that have been filed for money laundering and other subversive activities,” the presidium member said on condition of anonymity.
However, Awami League leaders said the party had no hand in the actual filing of the cases, as that was a matter for the law enforcement agencies.
“BNP leaders have committed many wrongs,” an organizing secretary of Awami League said.
“If they do not participate in election and try to create anarchy, they have to face legal action.”
Separately, Awami League leaders have denied allegations by BNP that an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) probe into suspicious bank transactions by eight of BNP leaders was part of a government conspiracy.
At a program in Dhanmondi on Wednesday, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Qauder said Awami League has no connection with the ACC investigation.
“Blaming the government has become a habit for BNP. They blame the government for everything,” he added.
Obaidul further said that a lawmaker of Awami League was in jail for his illegal activities and the ACC had summoned several other leaders of the ruling party as well, highlighting the independence of the anti-corruption watchdog.
On Monday, the ACC began an investigation against BNP Standing Committee Members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Vice-Chairmen M Morshed Khan and Abdul Awal Mintoo, Joint Secretary General Habibun Nabi Khan Sohel, and Executive Member Tabith Awal, who is the son of Mintoo.
Morshed Khan’s son, Faisal Morshed Khan, and Dhaka Bank Managing Director Syed Mahbubur Rahman were also under the ACC’s scanner, according to an order issued by the anti-graft watchdog’s Deputy Director Hrithik Saha.
“The allegations against them are over suspicious transactions of Tk125 crore. It is suspected that this money came through money laundering and by securing assets from unknown sources in a period of 30 days,” Hrithik Saha said.
ACC Deputy Director Md Shamsul Alam is leading the investigation, with the assistance of Assistant Director Md Salah Uddin.
The accused BNP leaders have denied having any involvement in the suspicious transactions.