Thursday, October 18, 2018

BNP will turn Awami League workers into human beings: Khaleda

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-11-13 01:13:45 BdST


BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has said neither she nor her party will exact revenge on the Awami League if her party comes to power but she will 'make Awami League workers real human beings'.

She made the remarks while criticising the ruling party in her speech at a party rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Sunday.

"You general secretary (Obaidul Quader) sometimes speaks out. He says they will have to be in power to save their face," Khaleda said.

"I say no; we don't do politics of vengeance like you. We don't catch, beat up or put people (dissidents) in jail," she added.

The BNP chief said all her party wanted to do is get some 'corrective measures' for the Awami League.

"You do bad things like killings and enforced disappearances. We will try to remove those evil traits from you and turn you into real human beings," the former prime minister said.

The BNP leaders and activists applauded her comments at the time.

Questioning the role of the Jatiya Party as the main opposition in parliament, Khaleda said, "Now Raushon Ershad is Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. MPs from her party have also become ministers. How can it be? So, there is no opposition."

"It could happen because they are not elected in voting by people. This parliament and government are illegal," she added.

'Billions smuggled out abroad'

The BNP chief alleged that the Awami League has smuggled out billions of taka abroad through money laundering in 10 years after it came to power.

"The Awami League has ruined the country. Around Tk 50 billion was added to those accounts (in Swiss banks) in 2015 alone," she said.

Referring to a report, she said, "Over Tk 4.5 trillion has been plundered in these 10 years. Who laundered this money? Those in power -- the Awami League."

She also noted that names of Bangladeshis appeared in Panama Papers, the leaked documents on offshore financial activities of influential people across the world to evade taxes.

"Millions of dollar have been invested in offshore companies, but the Anti-Corruption Commission has not launched any investigation or started a case. The commission is after us while we have no involvement in corruption," said Khaleda, prosecuted by the ACC in several cases.

She claimed the people do not consider banks as safe places to keep their money anymore because "Tk 300 billion has been embezzled from the sector in seven years".

"Even Tk 8 billion of the central bank's reserves has been plundered abroad, but there has been no investigation, no arrest, no trial," she said.

She also alleged the government was carrying out large-scale corruption in the name of building a 'Digital Bangladesh'.

"The people know well who are involved in these," she said.

The BNP chief claimed the Awami League had no headache over who lives and who dies.

"But we want to bring qualitative changes to politics, which means politics of national unity, and it's not possible without discussions.

"We will have to make the correct decision after discussions with all in and outside power," she said.

"We want to see an effective parliament where there will be accountability, where the ruling party and the opposition will resolve the problems together," the former prime minister added.