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Dhaka Tribune

Quader: BNP branded as the slayer of democracy in history

The political environment of the country has become poisonous, says the road transport and bridges minister

Update : 05 Jun 2021, 07:29 PM

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said that BNP is branded as the “killer of democracy” in Bangladesh's history.

BNP had repeatedly murdered democracy in the name of holding elections, he said while replying to journalists on recent issues at his official residence in Dhaka on Saturday.

Pointing towards BNP leaders, Quader posed a question about how on June 3 in 1978, Ziaur Rahman had restored democracy. 

“Military ruler Ziaur Rahman had killed the country’s democracy by holding presidential elections staying on the charge of army chief,” he said.

Prior to that, he said, the country’s election system had been ruined in the name of plebiscite [yes-no] vote in 1977.

About BNP leaders’ talks on establishing democracy, Quader questioned how the party, which bitterly criticizes and spreads falsehood against democratic institutions and keeps making undemocratic practices organizationally from head to toe, would establish democracy in the country.

Repaying to BNP leaders’ comment that the party is fighting for democracy and its workers are sacrificing life for it, the Awami League general secretary said the people has witnessed throwing of chairs by leaders and workers of BNP’s student wing Chhatra Dal at Jatiya Press Club in most recent time.

“I want to question the BNP leaders, are they fighting for democracy in such way?” he said.

Presenting the state of Awami League leaders and workers during BNP’s tenure, he said BNP had killed and abducted 21,000 leaders and workers of the ruling party after assuming power in 2001.

Though BNP forgot the past, the people of the country did not, he mentioned.

Quader said state power is a basic “objective of pleasure” to BNP and that is why they are so desperate to cling to the power.

On the other hand, the ruling party’s politics is of sacrifice and that is why the people have trust and confidence in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said.

Earlier, the Quader virtually joined a discussion arranged by the party’s forest and environment affairs sub-committee on the occasion of the World Environment Day.

Mentioning that Sheikh Hasina’s government is an environment-friendly one, the minister said the government has taken a plan to bring the country’s 22-24 percent of region under the shade of plants in the next five years.

The government has taken a plant to plant three crore of saplings of trees across the country on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he said.

With getting the award of “Champion of the Earth” by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the world community came to know that Bangladesh has not only knows the way to survive amid natural adversity but also know that Bangladesh can take up longstanding action plan to skillfully face the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change, he mentioned.

He said Dhaka was first ranked as the least livable city in a survey out of 140 cities but now it stands in the fourth position.

Even after that, Dhaka is not a livable one as air and sound pollution have reached an intolerable position, he said, adding that “we have to work for coming out from that condition.”

Quader said the natural environment is facing a crisis as well as the political environment is also becoming poisonous.

If political atmosphere doesn’t stay stable, it is not possible to do many things including conserving atmosphere.

Awami League Forest and Environment Affairs Sub-Committee Chairman Prof Dr Khandker Bazlul Haque chaired the discussion while Dhaka University (DU) former Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Nasreen Ahmad, water resource and climate change specialist Prof Ainun Nishat, architect Iqbal Habib, private-run television channel DBC’s news editor Pranab Saha, Awami League Forests and Environment Secretary Delwar Hossain addressed it among others.

Researcher Ashraf Dewan presented the keynote paper joining virtually the discussion from Australia.

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