July 18, 2024

Moon Desk: Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Monday said the reason for the death of BNP leader Abdur Rashid near the mass procession of the party in Panchagarh on Saturday was a heart attack, not a clash with police.
“BNP leaders should not push workers towards conflict,” he said while exchanging views with journalists at the ministry meeting room at the Secretariat in Dhaka.
Mentioning that any death is sorrowful, Hasan, also Awami League Joint General Secretary, prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul.
“He was a cardiac patient. He underwent bypass surgery. He came to BNP procession, but he collapsed in front of a mosque before the beginning of the clash with police and on-duty doctors declared him dead after he was taken to hospital,” he said.
The minister said an autopsy report that came on Sunday revealed that Abdur Rashid died of a cardiac arrest.
“But BNP always push their activists towards conflict, which is not a good thing. This kind of politics will not bring any welfare for the country and even it didn’t benefit the party so far. BNP should refrain from such politics,” he said.
About BNP’s repeated remarks that they will not take part in the election under the incumbent government, he said the government doesn’t conduct elections rather Election Commission conducts elections.
After the announcement of the election schedule, the government doesn’t have the jurisdiction to transfer even an Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) or officer-in-change (OC) of any police station, he mentioned.
“We want that the country’s democracy becomes stronger through a participatory, fair and proper election. It is sorrowful but true that BNP doesn’t believe in democracy,” he said adding that BNP was born in an undemocratic way.
Hasan said BNP knew that they have gone far away from the people and that is why they fear to take part in polls.
But it is neither the duty of Awami League nor the government to remove their fear, he said.
Hasan said: “In 2014, we also wanted BNP’s participation in elections. They took the path of resisting the polls instead of taking part in the elections and they torched 500 polling centres. They even killed presiding officer and police personnel.”
In 2018, they were in dilemma whether they would take part in polls or not and they joined the polls at the eleventh hour, he said, adding that everyone know what was the result as they won only seven seats, including women’s seat.

“We want BNP’s participation with their full strength in the polls. We want a participatory poll and the formation of the next government with the polls. We don’t want any walk-over,” he said.

The minister said: “We want to win the game by playing it. Our team is very strong. We firmly believe that if BNP comes to the field of election, we will again achieve a landslide victory by defeating them like 2018 polls.”

About challenges in the coming days, he said they will have to face many challenges in the coming days including ill politics of the BNP and anti-state conspiracy of the BNP.

“We are taking ahead the country overcoming all challenges,” he said.

About BNP leader Dr Khandker Mosharraf Hossain’s comment that BNP’s mass procession is the beginning of their movement to topple the government, the AL joint general secretary mockingly said BNP begins their movement every day.

“We saw how many people joined their mass procession. When people walk along the Gulstian intersection during the busy time, there are more people in the crowd than the BNP’s procession,” he said.
Asked about his election as the top joint general secretary in Awami League, he said he would discharge his duties with utmost sincerity as Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave him the responsibility keeping trust in him.
“I discharged my responsibility with honesty in the past too. I always got cooperation from journalists over the past two decades as a member of the central working committee of Bangladesh Awami League. I seek support from the journalists in my future journey too,” he said.

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