Criticising BNP leaders for their movement to have Khaleda Zia freed, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked if the movement was for “a thief”.
“The BNP leaders are waging a movement now. What is this movement for? Their leader has landed in jail for looting money. Is this a movement for a thief?” she said while addressing a rally at Rajshahi Government Alia Madrasa ground in the city.
“She [Khaleda] is enduring punishment today as she could not provide the money to orphans that came for them in the last 27 years,” the PM added.
Hasina said the money was brought from abroad in 1991 for setting up an orphanage, but “they embezzled the money resorting to anomalies”.
“Where is the orphanage? How many orphans are there? Have the orphans got a single penny?” she questioned.
The PM said Bangladesh had been the world champion in the corruption perception index for five consecutive years when the BNP was in power.
Seeking vote for “boat”, the electoral symbol of Awami League, in the next parliamentary elections and the upcoming elections to local bodies, the AL chief said her government was developing the country and the trend would continue. “We will make the country a prosperous one and free it from hunger.”
Hasina said when AL comes to power, the country sees development, but the BNP “indulges in looting” when it rules the country. “What would one do for the country if he fails to check the greed of plundering orphans' money?”
About the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust fund, she said the previous caretaker government desperately searched for possible anomalies in the fund aiming to implicate her in a case, but it found nothing.
“Now you think what well-being can be done by them who can burn people to death,” the PM said.
About the development works carried out by the AL government, Hasina said her government's main objective was to carry out development programmes and ensure people's welfare.
Referring to Bangla Bhai, a militant leader, she said the Rajshahi region was a safe haven for terrorists and militants, and none could sleep peacefully when BNP-Jamaat was in power.
“The BNP-Jamaat alliance had made Rajshahi a city of terrorism and created Bangla Bhai,” she alleged.
Hasina said though the AL-backed mayoral candidate was not elected in the last city polls in Rajshahi in 2013, the government allocated huge funds for the development of the city. However, the incumbent mayor failed to implement development projects.
Mentioning that there was no Monga (famine) in the country's northern region anymore, she said her government ended the famine taking effective steps against it.
The AL's Rajshahi district and city units jointly organised the rally, with city AL President AHM Khairuzzaman Liton in the chair.
Earlier, the PM opened 20 development projects and laid the foundation stones of nine others by unveiling plaques at the madrasa ground.