2 accused now at BNP’s helm: PM

Pointing finger at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and its senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said now the two accused are this party’s top leaders. Photo: PID

Describing the reelection of Khaleda Zia as BNP chairperson and Tarique Rahman as its senior vice chairman as a stage-managed drama, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said now two accused are this party’s top leaders.

“Whom they (BNP) have actually elected -- there two accused, one (Khaleda) is an accused in a case of misappropriating orphans’ money and another (Tarique) in the Aug 21 grenade case - and his (Tarique’s) name is also there in Interpol’s wanted list… if this is the case, what this party can deliver!” she wondered.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, was addressing a mammoth public rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city marking the historic March 7 speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

She alleged that Tarique Rahman has remained absconding in cases filed against him for money laundering and corruption. "He (Tarique) is now a senior BNP leader!"

Earlier on Sunday, Khaleda Zia has been reelected BNP chairperson unopposed, while her son Tarique Rahman reelected the party’s senior vice chairman before the party’s national council session.

Both of them were reelected as no one else filed nomination to contest the elections to the posts.

The Awami League organised the rally with Deputy Leader of the Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury in the chair.

The prime minister alleged that Khaleda Zia had carried out a destructive movement with an ill motive to destroy the spirit of the Liberation War and foil the country’s economic development.

“Why did she wage the movement? Her target was to destroy the Liberation War spirit and halt the country’s economic development through the movement. She can’t tolerate the progress of the country,” she said.

“Her (Khaleda) soul always cries for her beloved Pakistan…it’s better for her to move there (Pakistan) to relieve the people of Bangladesh,” the prime minister told the rally.

On March 7, 1971, Bangalees' undisputed leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his epoch-making speech of independence before a mammoth rally at the historic Race Course Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan.

In his 19-minute extempore speech before a million freedom-loving people of the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, Bangabandhu had made a clarion call for a non-cooperation movement asking the nation to prepare for the war of independence to liberate the country from the exploitative Pakistan regime.

AL Advisory Council Member and Industries Minster Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, AL Presidium Member and Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Selim, Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, AL General Secretary and Minister for Public Administration Syed Ashraful Islam, AL Presidium Member and Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, AL Joint General Secretaries Mahbub ul Alam Hanif and Dr Dipu Moni, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, AL City Unit General Secretary and Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, AL Organising Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Food Minister Advocate Qumrul Islam, AKM Rahmatullah, MP, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq and Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon, among others, spoke at the rally. AL Publicity Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud conducted the rally.