Awami League-led 14-party alliance yesterday expressed grave condemnation to the authorities for their failure and inaction against the rise of gambling and casino business, “right under the nose of the administration.”
The alliance expressed the contempt from a meeting held at the Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue.
After the meeting, Mohammad Nasim, spokesperson of the alliance, told reporters that they are happy with the crackdown being continued across the country against corruption and social offenses.
“We are content with the ongoing drive that was started to stop casino business. We congratulate it,” Nasim, also a presidium member of the Awami League, said. At the same time, he expressed his disappointment over involvement of some political leaders with the casino business.
“We are shocked how the casino business is operated under the very nose of the administration. We condemn the administration for its failure and inaction,” he said.
Calling upon the respective ministries to take necessary steps to uproot such businesses, Nasim said, “No rogue should be sheltered or nurtured.”
Blaming the authorities for nurturing corruption within the administration, Nasim said, “We cannot accept that some corrupt individuals will tarnish the government’s achievement.”
Stating that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a strong stance against the corruption, Nasim said, “The 14-party alliance is with her.”
Besides, he called upon the authorities concerned to remain alert so that no evil force can rear its ugly head, taking opportunities of the anti-corruption crackdown. Measures against people who are involved in the corruption will have to be taken, he added.
When pointed out that Workers’ Party President Rashed Khan Menon is the chairman of Youngmen’s Club where a Jubo League leader ran a casino, Menon, who was also present at the meeting, told reporters, “It was an ornamental post; not in terms of responsibility.”
“I have said I went to the club only once, and cut a ribbon; that was the last day. If I am stigmatised for that, then so be it,” he said.
When asked whether he should have known about the activities at the club under his constituency, Menon said, “No one in the administration could come to know of the matter, then how would I know? It is not so easy.”
“I went there in 2016, and the casino business started in 2017,” he added.
Hasanul Haque Inu, president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal -- a component of the 14-party alliance -- said, “Corruption will have to be uprooted from administration, corrupt ones will have to be ousted from political parties.”