Confined or not?
As criticism poured in over placing the BNP chairperson under virtual house arrest, the environment and the information ministers yesterday insisted that the opposition leader was not under such conditions.
"Khaleda Zia has kept herself confined in her house," Environment Minister Hasan Mahmud said while talking to reporters at his Secretariat office.
He ruled out BNP leaders' claim that the party chief had been put under house arrest.
Mahmud was briefing reporters over the success of his ministry in the last five years.
He questioned how US Ambassador Dan Mozena and British High Commissioner Robert Gibson met Khaleda had she been under house arrest.
“It is her personal matter that she is not coming out of her residence,” Mahmud told reporters.
Asked about the credibility of the January 5 polls, he said the BNP was responsible for this situation. “Fifteen parties are taking part in the polls. If any party does not participate in the elections, we have nothing to do.”
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said the government needed to issue a notification if it wanted to keep anyone under house arrest. But no such notification had been issued.
Inu, also chief of ruling Awami League ally Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, was talking to reporters while unveiling his party's election manifesto at its Bangabandhu Avenue office.
Meanwhile, law enforcers for the fifth consecutive day did not allow any opposition men to meet Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan residence.
An additional number of law enforcers were still deployed around her residence while four sand-laden trucks were yet in place.
BNP Vice-chairman Selima Rahman at a press briefing at her Gulshan residence yesterday demanded that the government allow free movement of the BNP chief and let opposition men meet her without creating any obstacle.