Fri, 02 June 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Polls-time government can be formed with incumbent MPs: PM

Update : 16 May 2023, 00:51

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said an election-time government could be formed with the parties in parliament although the next general election will be held in the country following the Westminster democracy of Britain.

"We follow the Westminster type democracy. We'll hold the election as Britain does... Yes, we can show our liberality if anyone of the MPs (parties) in parliament expresses desire to join the election-time government. We are ready to welcome them," she said.

The premier made this remark while addressing a press conference to brief the media about the outcomes of her recent tri-nation visit to Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom from April 25 to May 08, at Ganabhaban on Monday afternoon, reports BSS.

Mentioning that her party Bangladesh Awami League (AL) had shown such liberality earlier too, Sheikh Hasina said that before the national election in 2014, Khaleda Zia was asked to give her party's representation in that election-time government, but they didn't do that.

She added: "Now they (BNP) are not in parliament. So, there is nothing to think about them," she said.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, said that she has been working for the welfare of the people and if the people vote for her, she will stay in power, otherwise not.

AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, AL Presidium Members - Deputy Leader of the House Begum Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Engineer Mosharraf Hossain - Planning Minister Abdul Mannan and PM's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, were present on the dais.

PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.

The Prime Minister said that the BNP is continuing their movement to oust the government, but the government is not doing anything over this.

"But, whenever we were in the opposition, did they allow us to come to the street?" she said, adding that they tried to kill her through grenade attack.

Sheikh Hasina said that the government has no reservation on the movement of BNP, but it won't tolerate any arson violence.

"If they wage movement, we've no objection. But, if they resort to arson violence and burn any human being again, we'll not spare them. . . They can wage movement as much as they can," she said.

In this connection, the premier referred to the arson terrorism of BNP-Jamaat alliance in the past where they burnt over 500 schools, 3,800 vehicles, launches, 70 rails and 3,500 people as well.

She questioned whether anybody keeps the information of the people who received burn injuries during the arson terrorism of BNP-Jamaat.

"I've said that they can carry on their movement, but there is no reason to burn people . . . ," she said, adding: "We wouldn't allow anyone to harm people."

Regarding the movement of BNP, Sheikh Hasina said that she knows who are getting benefit from the movement.

"They can wage movement as much as they can, it matters nothing to me as I am with the people. I am working for the people and people's trust and confidence is my big strength," she added.

Mentioning that she has nothing to lose, Sheikh Hasina said "I've lost my mother-father-brother. I am working for my people."

The AL chief noted that her party works a lot and that is why vested groups have become enemies of AL. "It is natural, but I don't bother it as I am working for the country and want the people to stay well."

The Prime Minister said that her success is that she has been able to turn the country into a developing one but it would not be liked by those who opposed the country's independence, and killed Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"I've fulfilled my goal and the rest of it will be achieved, InshaAllah," she added.

"I would join election and the reason is that I didn't implement the full process of being a developing nation by 2024 due to Covid-19 and that is why my desire is to do it by 2026."

Replying to a question if any talks will be held with those who (BNP) are now waging movement on the streets against the government, the Prime Minister said, "Why would we go to call them for talks? Their demand is not specific as well."

Responding to a question regarding the dollar crisis, she said that the dollar crisis is worldwide, not only in Bangladesh.

 "There is no such crisis (in Bangladesh). The reserve of foreign currencies was only US$ 0.744 billion in 2006 during the BNP regime. That means less than one billion dollars. But, now we have a reserve of US$ 31.22 billion. So, there is not much reason to worry about it," she said.

 Replying to other questions, Sheikh Hasina said the IMF provided a loan to Bangladesh as the country has capacity to repay it and its economy didn't get poor yet.

 She blasted a section of people who don't see any good side of the government, saying that they are blind despite having eyes.

 She said now the rate of extreme poverty has come down to only 5 percent from 25 percent in the country.

The AL chief said they will declare developing "Smart Bangladesh" in her party's next election manifesto.

The premier ruled out any possibility of raising the age limit of entry to government jobs.

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