Mentioning that the trend of making money now has become a disease, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday renewed her vow to continue the ongoing drive against corruption and drugs.
“[Greed] to accumulate wealth has become a disease. It’s sickening … we want those who lead the life with honest income to get the dignity,” she said.
Addressing the triennial council of Dhaka North and South City units of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), the Prime Minister said, “The hard-earned money of people will be spent on ensuring the welfare of people, not for lavish lifestyle of anyone.”
Referring to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s imprisonment, Sheikh Hasina said many people are trying to give political colour to the conviction of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on graft charges.
“It’s not a political case…it’s completely a corruption case. But many want to give it a political colour. We didn’t file any case against her with any political motive,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, opened the council as the chief guest by hoisting the national flag as well as releasing pigeons and balloons at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the city in the morning.
About Khaleda’s case, the Prime Minister said money came for orphans but they did not get it as it was deposited in Khaleda Zia’s account.
She said the army-backed caretaker government filed the case against her for embezzlement of the orphans’ money. “She is now in jail being convicted in that case.”
Criticising the BNP leaders and activists for vandalising buses in front of the High Court recently, the Prime Minister said they did it suddenly out of nothing. “This is not new by BNP men…they’ve the habit of doing such things,” she said.
Referring to the violence unleashed by BNP in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Hasina said the people of the country and their property came under repeated attacks by BNP activists.
The Prime Minister said this is fact that the country progressed during Awami League’s rule and it is moving forward and will do so.
Mentioning the torture and repressive acts on AL men and general people in the past during BNP regimes, she said her government’s goal is to change the fate of people and improve their lifestyle protecting them from the hands of those who resort to terrorist acts, torture and killing and sit on the shoulders of people as a curse.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and AL Dhaka North City President AKM Rahmatullah also spoke at the council presided over by Dhaka South City AL president Haji Abul Hasnat.
Dhaka North City AL General Secretary Sadeq Khan placed the report on AL’s Dhaka city, while Dhaka South City AL general secretary Shahe Alam Murad moderated it.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon and Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam were, among others, present.
The last council of undivided Dhaka City Awami League was held on December 27 in 2012.
Sheikh Hasina criticised Ziaur Rahman, HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia for promoting the killers of Bangabandhu and anti-liberation forces.
She said Awami League was always targeted (in repression) by those who had come to power through killings, coups and conspiracies.
The Prime Minister said Khaleda Zia held an election on February 15, 1996 where two percent votes might not have been cast.
Snatching the votes of people, Khaleda Zia declared herself the Prime Minister, but she was forced to step down within one and half months, Hasina recalled.
Taking a swipe at BNP leaders for raising question against the last general election, she said, “It’s not decent for those at least who held the February 15-like election to raise any question over polls.”
Hasina also mentioned the questionable elections, including referendum, presidential election and parliamentary elections, held during Ziaur Rahman’s regime.
She said BNP and Jatiya Party were formed as tools to give legitimacy to illegal power, and the two parties have not developed from the grassroots. But Awami League, as a party, has developed with a principle and ideology as it was formed to emancipate people from exploitation and deprivation, and improve their fate, Hasina said.
She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had led a simple life and dedicated his life to the welfare of people.
Pointing at the AL leaders and activists, the AL President asked them to lead life upholding the ideology and work for the welfare of people being imbued with the spirit of dedication the Father of the Nation made throughout his life.