Urging BNP to find out the reasons behind its defeat in the last general election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a party that failed to mobilise people for a movement cannot win public support in the election fray.
“BNP has many reasons for their defeat in the December 30 election. One is their failure to wage anti-government agitation involving people,” she said.
The prime minister was addressing a discussion marking Bangabandhu's Home Coming Day from Pakistani prison on January 10, 1972 after Bangladesh got independence.
Bangladesh Awami League Central Working Committee organised the discussion at Bangladesh Krishibid Institution.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, was in the chair while party leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AKM Rahmatullah and Shah Alam Murad, among others, took part in the discussion.
Party leaders Dr Hasan Mahmud and Aminul Islam conducted the meeting.
Other reasons for BNP's debacle in the election is their misdeeds in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the prime minister said, adding that people didn't forget their mayhem when they torched more than 3,900 transports, burnt more than 3,500 people of whom more than 500 succumbed to injuries.
“Women, children, elderly persons, students and even trees could not escape from their attacks. So, how can they expect that people will vote for them?” she asked.
The Prime Minister said choosing a fugitive convict to head the party is also a major cause for BNP's defeat in the election.
“As their main leader is serving in prison for stealing an orphanage's money, her son was made acting chairperson, who was convicted in a number of cases including a case for smuggling 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition, the 21 August grenade attack and a money laundering case where FBI has given deposition against him.
“Was there no leader in BNP except a convicted person to be made their chairman?” Sheikh Hasina asked.
She said trading with nomination is another major cause of BNP's disaster in the election.
“They [BNP] put their nomination in auction and the highest bidder got nomination. Many of them met with me and spoke of their anguish,” she said.
Above all, the prime minister said BNP has given nomination to 25 leaders of Jamaat the entity of which was declared illegal by the country's highest court.
She said, “People of Bangladesh now believe in the spirit of the Liberation War and they will never vote for any war criminal.”
Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation has liberated the country, but people of Bangladesh suffered immensely for 29 years from 1975 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2008 as anti-liberation forces ruled the country during that time.
“People of Bangladesh found prosperity only when Awami League was in power as the party is guided by the principles of Bangabandhu,” she said, adding that “economic emancipation of the people is our main goal and we want to establish peace and security in public life.”
The prime minister said Awami League had framed its election manifesto aimed at making Bangladesh a developed and prosperous nation in South Asia.
She said post 1975 rulers had tried to thwart out all achievements of Bangladesh by killing Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975.
Bangladesh could not go ahead because of their conspiracy and failure.
During the discussion, Sheikh Hasina expressed gratitude to the countrymen for casting their vote for Awami League and to the professionals for overwhelming support in the election.
She said next five years would be a hard time for her party as the government must continue the pace of development and take forward Bangladesh toward prosperity as pledged by it.