BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is living like a fugitive in fear of seeing corruption charges against her proved in court, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“She [Khaleda] terms others corrupt but she herself is living like a fugitive. She is not attending court hearings in the case filed on charges of misappropriation of funds meant for orphans,” Hasina said addressing the meeting of the Awami League Working Committee at Gonobhaban yesterday.
The prime minister said the BNP, the caretaker government and even the World Bank failed to spot any act of corruption that the Awami League (AL)had been involved in.
“There have been many efforts to link Awami League to acts of corruption. World Bank officials got tired as they investigated Padma bridge corruption allegations but still found nothing,” she said.
Hasina said party councils were being held at wards, unions and districts, and some of the councils had already been completed.
“Councils of Awami League’s associate bodies are also being held. We are receiving enthusiastic response from the people. They are taking interest in joining Awami League as the party’s activities resulted in rapid developments in the country in the last five years,” she said.
The prime minister ordered the working committee to reinvigorate leaders, who have been inactive in the party, through the councils. She also asked for appointing dedicated and competent leaders in the posts they deserve, and cautioned lawmakers not to pressure for appointment of leaders in key posts who are loyal to them.
Hasina ordered to form grassroots committees by including both junior and senior leaders.
Presidium member and Health Minister Mohammed Nasim proposed to announce a month-long programme for December, also the month of victory. But the prime minister turned down the proposal, saying this would heighten people’s sufferings.
Hasina claimed employment in the past five years had reached an unprecedented level. Around 10 million got jobs during this period. She said people were also provided with a range of training for self-employment.
The AL chief said the government built 5,275 digital centres and turned 400 post offices into digital centres.
She said the country has 8,000 post offices and all of them would be turned into digital centres gradually.
Hasina claimed the poverty rate had gone down to 24.4% during the current term of the Awami League, adding that the government would be able to bring down the rate to below 10% before the tenure ended.
She said the country’s inflation rate fell remarkably as a result of the economic programmes taken by the government.
“The inflation rate was over 13% in 2009 but it now stands at 6.04%. It is benefitting the common people, those from the low-income group. About 30 types of medicines are provided free of cost to patients at community clinics while poor mothers of newborn babies and also lactating mothers are given allowances,” she said.
“People are getting so much because the Awami League is in power. Those who were in power in the past could give nothing except corruption, terrorism and militancy. How can they give something to the people if they embezzle funds of orphans?” said the prime minister.
Hasina said many are proposing various development theories but the government believes in none of theme. She said the government’s theory is to help people eat to their hearts’ content and to raise their standard of living.
“Those who are suggesting theories now proposed the caretaker government theory earlier. But the theory is now gone,” said the premier.
Hasina termed the 18th Saarc Summit in Nepal fruitful and said Saarc leaders had highly appreciated Bangladesh’s progress in various sectors.
She said the heads of state had a favourable atmosphere to discuss issues at the summit.
“It was possible as all member states of the Saarc now have elected governments in power. We inked a deal and also made an announcement stressing the socio-economic development of this region,” she said.
“The progress we made was recognised as a model that can be followed by South Asia and other developing countries around the world,” added Hasina.