Coming down heavily on the BNP for its destructive politics, prime minister Sheikh Hasina here on Thursday said this party indulges in plundering when comes to power and burns people to death when goes to the opposition.
‘The BNP could not develop the country. It comes to power for looting and its only work is to cause harm to the people. What type of politics it is!’ she said.
The prime minister was addressing a public rally at Khaliajuri Degree College ground in Netrakona in the morning after distributing rice and cash money among the flashflood-hit people of the upazila. Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said the BNP showed its failure in every sector of the country when it was in power.
She said the Awami League government handed over the power after 2001 elections making the country self-reliant in food.
‘But it was BNP that turned Bangladesh into a food-deficit country again,’ she added.
She said the Awami League government raised the electricity production while the BNP reduced it.
‘We’ve established community clinics, but the BNP closed down the clinics out of political vengeance’ she said, adding that the BNP became failure in every sector in this way.
Referring to the rampage and atrocities unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat, the prime minister said they killed 231 innocent people and crippled over 3,224 others through arson attacks in the name of the movement in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
‘The BNP-Jamaat killed 55 drivers and helpers and 24 members of law enforcement agencies. They also torched 582 primary schools and 70 government offices alongside buses, trains, CNGs (auto-rickshaw) and launches,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the BNP government came to power with an aim to eliminate the Awami League for ever, make the people penniless and change the country’s history.
‘The BNP leaders and workers amassed wealth through looting and corruption, and siphoned off money abroad,’ she said.
The prime minister said the people of Netrakona didn’t forget the extremist activities of BNP leader and former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.
‘His only work was looting, corruption, terrorism, militancy and torturing people’ she said, adding that Babar had inflicted inhuman repression on the people in his area at the directive of Khaleda Zia.
Sheikh Hasina said 12 leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies were killed by the BNP terrorists in Netrakona from 2001 to 2006. ‘The BNP-Jamaat cadres vandalised and torched houses and business establishments of the Awami League leaders and workers,’ she said.
‘Even the minority people and journalists of Netrakona were not spared from the BNP atrocities,’ she added.
Sheikh Hasina announced halving the interest rate for fresh agricultural loan for flood affected haor farmers.
‘In addition the affected farmers would get fresh agricultural loan at 4.5 per cent interest rate to restart farming,’ she said adding that the government would also provide support for diversification of their occupation.
Assuring the people of the flood-affected areas of taking all necessary measures for their protection, the prime minister said none will face the lack of food and shelter, as VGF activities would continue in the haor areas apart from OMS programme.
‘Now we have sufficient stock of food and if necessary we will import more food from abroad,’ she said adding that the government has taken arrangement to reach VGF rice to union level at the government cost.
The prime minister arrived here in the morning by helicopter to see for herself the situation of the flood-affected haor areas of the district.
She distributed relief goods among the flood-stricken farmers and other distressed people.
Flash floods, triggered by torrential rain in the middle of the last month, caused inundating vast swathes of the northeastern region and damaged Boro paddy, putting the livelihoods of thousands of farmers at risk.
According to the official estimate a total of 86 unions of 10 upazilas were affected and crops of 28,425 hectors of land were fully damaged, affecting more than 1.65 lakh farmers in Netrakona.
Agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, water resources minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, food minister Quamrul Islam and local parliament member Rebeka Momin addressed the meeting, among others, while Awami League joint secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif and deputy minister for youth and sports Arif Khan Joy were present.
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