Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also chief of the Awami League, yesterday asked her party lawmakers to equip themselves with adequate knowledge about the background and philosophy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's formation of Baksal to counter the criticism of it as one-party rule.
She gave the instruction at a meeting of the Awami League Parliamentary Party held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, several AL lawmakers told The Daily Star later.
In 1975, the then AL-led government headed by Bangabandhu formed Baksal, introduced one-party rule and switched over to a presidential form of government by amending the constitution.
This had generated a huge public outcry then, and the AL still faces criticism for this.
Hasina brushed aside criticism of Baksal, saying that formation of such a political platform comprising all political parties and groups was not anything bad in a newly liberated war-torn country or in a crisis period.
“In this regard, she [Hasina] also cited the instance of Singapore where a government was formed comprising representatives from all sections of people during a crisis period, ” Iqbal said.
“You will have to be well equipped with knowledge about all this to fight back those who speak ill of Baksal,” he added, quoting Hasina.
Another lawmaker said the premier asked them to know the philosophy of Baksal and counter the opposition propaganda against it.
Bitterly criticising civil society members for giving different formulas about polls-time government, Hasina said they are complicating the political situation by doing so, according to another lawmaker.
The premier urged the AL lawmakers to remain vigilant to avert possible violence by BNP-Jamaat activists in their constituencies.