BNP has a history of rigging polls
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the BNP has no right now to raise question about elections as it has a history of tainted polls.
"The history of elections during the rule of BNP is so tainted that they do not have any right to talk about election," she said at a discussion yesterday marking her homecoming from exile in India in 1981.
The Awami League organised the event at its central office on Bangabandhu Avenue, with the PM joining it virtually from the Gono Bhaban.
Hasina mentioned how then BNP government rigged the Magura parliamentary by-election in 1994 to snatch the victory from her party candidate.
The blatant rigging, she said, triggered a movement which forced Khaleda Zia's then government to step down and hand over power to a neutral caretaker government to hold the national election.
She also referred to the February 15 parliamentary election in 1996, held during the tenure of Khaleda's then government, which was boycotted by opposition parties and shunned by voters.
Elections were also rigged by BNP in 1981 and by Ziaur Rahman in 1977, 1978 and 1979, the PM said.
Hasina said the BNP, knowing quite well that they would suffer a huge defeat in the next general election, is now trying to raise question about it.
"The BNP has no leadership at all. All are convicted criminals. It is not possible to win any election with convicted criminals."
The premier said the development of the electoral system is the brainchild of the AL. In this regard, she mentioned about the introduction of voter list with photo, transparent ballot box and EVM.
Hasina, also the AL president, said her party was elected by the people and it has returned the voting rights to the people.
She said the country's massive development is owed to the AL because it has been in power for a long time.
Coming down heavily on a section of intellectuals and economists for unnecessary criticism based on false information, Hasina said how could they talk foolishly like this.
She mentioned that this section of people is saying that the government has done a grave mistake by implementing mega projects, like Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and Padma Bridge rail link.
"They feel pain whenever we do anything for Bangladesh…. They do not see anything good for Bangladesh. They do not feel good when Bangladesh moves forward."
Hasina said mega projects are taken up in the interest of the people of Bangladesh.
"Can others who were in power show a single example of doing anything for the country or its people or brighten the image of the country? No, they can't. They just made Bangladesh a nation of beggars," she said.
The premier directed the AL leaders and activists to strictly follow the party's policy and ideology as it can give something to the people.
She asked the knowledgeable-intellectual people to join politics if they wanted to run the country.
The AL observed the 42nd homecoming day of Hasina on May 17.
On this day in 1981, she returned home after a long exile in India. Hasina was elected the AL president in her absence in the party's national council held on February 14-16 in 1981.