The prime minister said BNP leaders have to figure out the reasons behind the failure of the party in this election.
Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on Thursday suggested BNP go soul-searching to learn what caused the party’s resounding defeat at the hands of Awami League during the December 30 general election.
“Why did BNP fail in this election? I think BNP itself needs to think long and hard about that,” she said while addressing a discussion in Dhaka.
The discussion was arranged by the ruling party at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh, to commemorate the historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also Bangabandhu’s daughter, chaired the discussion.
Saying that BNP did not practice politics, the prime minister questioned how those whose policy was to resort to corruption, militancy, and arson attacks could hope to win the general polls.
“BNP committed many misdeeds, carrying out arson attacks in 2013, 2014, and 2015 with the aim of toppling the government. They failed to resist the 2014 election because the people of Bangladesh sided with us. Those who failed to start a movement can never be successful in an election, and this was proved during the 2018 polls,” she added.
The prime minister also criticized nomination trading by BNP, saying those who put nominations up for auction cannot hope to emerge victorious in an election.
“BNP did not give nominations to Enam Ahmed Chowdhury of Sylhet, Ataur Rahman Khan's son Ziaur Rahman of Dhamrai, Taimur Alam Khandaker of Narayanganj, and Morshed Khan of Chittagong even though they had strong prospects for emerging victorious in the polls, because the party was doing business with nominations,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina further said the people did not vote for BNP as the party gave nominations to 25 Jamaat-e-Islami men. “The people of Bangladesh believe in the spirit of the Liberation War, and they will never cast their votes for war criminals.
She also criticized BNP for making fugitive Tarique Rahman its acting chairman after Chairperson Khaleda Zia was sent to jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Regarding those who were criticizing the high voter turnout at the recent general election as artificial, the prime minister said: “If you draw a comparison between two elections, you will see that voter turnout was higher in the 2008 general election than in 2018.”
According to Election Commission statistics, voter turnout in the 2008 general election was 87.13%, as compared to 80% in the 2018 election.
Sheikh Hasina further said Awami League where the party who governed the country following the ideology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and BNP were not.
AL Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Presidium members Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, and Abdul Matin Khasru, joint general secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Awami League Dhaka north city unit President AKM Rahmatullah, and Awami League Dhaka south city unit General Secretary Shah-e Alam Murad also spoke on the occasion.
The discussion was jointly conducted by Information Minister and Party publicity and publication secretary Mohammad Hasan Mahmud, and Deputy Publicity Secretary Aminul Islam.
On January 10, 1972, Bangabandhu returned to an independent Bangladesh via London and New Delhi after 290 days in a Pakistani jail.