12:00 AM, January 24, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 24, 2013

They are not from BCL

PM tells about weapon- wielders in newspapers

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Diplomatic Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday categorically said those seen in newspapers brandishing weapons in violent incidents were not Chhatra League members.
“They are not from Bangladesh Chhatra League…. Those seen in newspapers running with shackles applied for Chhatra League membership, but they were not given,” she said when asked if BCL activists were tarnishing the government's image.
Addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office, the prime minister said she would like to see a fewer number of activists in Chhatra League rather than many "troublemakers".
Hasina, also the Awami League president, added that BCL and Juba League -- the pro-AL student wing and youth wing, were not so weak that troublemakers would have to be recruited.
The PM said she believed in the policy of “Dushto gorur cheye shunno goal bhalo,” (Better none than a black sheep) and claimed her government gave clear instructions to the authorities to take action against troublemakers and criminals.
She also said her government would not spare anyone creating troubles in the society.
Already, more than 500 BCL activists have been arrested for their alleged involvement in unlawful activities, she added.
On elections, she said the next parliament polls would be held before January 25, 2014, in line with the constitutional provision.
Asked about the polls format, the prime minister said election would be held in a way it was done in other parliamentary system of democracies. But the opposition can still have their say in the House.
“There would always be some conspiracies, but it is people's support what is important,” she said replying to a query on apprehensions about holding of the next election.
The polls would be held whatever conspiracies there may be, she added.
“They [the immediate past army-backed caretaker government] had a 10-year plan but could not implement the design due to people's resistance. The country got back democracy as I returned home [from abroad] despite all odds.”
Over the last four years, 5,509 elections were held, including in municipalities, upazilas, city corporations and parliament constituencies. All these polls were free and fair and in many elections AL candidates suffered defeat, but the government did not interfere in it, Hasina said.
Turning to her 2008 polls pledges, she said, “We have achieved what we had committed.”
She said she had pledged to bring all the upazila headquarters under internet service, but in reality, unions too have been brought under the service.
Citing another example of achieving more than the target, Hasina said her government generated 6,500MW of electricity against her polls pledge to generate 5,000MW.
Replying to a question about Prof Mohammad Yunus' intention to do politics as reported in a foreign magazine, the prime minister said it was a democratic country and everyone had the right to do politics.
"I have not restricted anyone to do politics…. May a hundred flowers bloom," she said with a smile.

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