BNP Engaged in Arson to Make By-Polls Questionable: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Monday that BNP carried out the latest arson attacks on buses on the day of the elections to make the polls dubious and malicious for the government.

"There was no need to set the buses on fire. But why did they do that? It was to make the election doubtful by not getting people's votes and losing public confidence," she said to Parliament.

The Prime Minister made these remarks in response to BNP MP Harunur Rashid's request to set up a parliamentary body to find out who was behind the recent arson attack on several busses in the city, reports UNB.

Sheikh Hasina said that when two parliamentary by-elections were held, some busses were unexpectedly set on fire and blamed the government.

“We’re in power. As to why our government earns a bad name by setting fires to buses. Besides, it is our duty to ensure security to the people,” she said.

Thanks to technical progress, those who set fire are caught in red paws, as there are CCTVs everywhere. It's obvious who was behind the arson attack, she said, adding that there are photos of the guilty ones in her possession.

Several people from their procession were seen setting fire to the gas lighter buses, she went on.

Noting that now technology is advancing far and technology speaks, the Prime Minister played the record of a phone call conversation between a leader and a female activist of BNP in the House.

She said that it is their old practice that they transferred the government's responsibility for setting fire. Since there was a problem with the party's base. Ziaur Rahman had seized power in the midst of the killings. The party he founded is best acquainted with the politics of assassination, weapons and violence. They produced Bangla Bhai and militants, resorted to various wrongdoings, including corruption and money laundering.

The Prime Minister said that the party had lost public trust in the fact that it had made a wanted prisoner of a murder and a 10-truck-arm case as the party's acting chairman. Is BNP not a competent leader in the country who could be its acting president? They made a fugitive prisoner as acting president, she said.

Pointing at Khaleda Zia, Sheik Hasina said that their leader is also convicted in the case of the embezzlement of orphans' assets.

Pointing at BNP MP Harunur Rashid, the PM said he should have raised the issue in Parliament after knowing his party’s information better.

She asked the BNP MP not to mislead the people raising untrue information in the House anymore.

About the BNP’s participation in the election, Sheikh Hasina said “My question is whether they are participating in the election at all.” They are taking nominations but they don't have any campaign or give polling agents properly. They do nothing on the election and at one stage they withdraw from the race saying that the election is not held properly.

She advised the BNP take the election seriously.

The PM said that BNP had actually lost the support of the people a long time ago after coming to power with a conspiracy in 2001. They have resorted to various kinds of misdeeds since October 2001, and then resorted to arson violence and burned several people alive.

She said that BNP is trying to get the mileage banking time to give the government a bad reputation because the people are in trouble because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has tried its best to support the people and keep the wheel of the economy turning in this crucial period.

People have no confidence and no trust in them. Even in the 2008 general election, the people opposed them, and the people moved further away from them because of their misdeeds.

Earlier, Harunur Rashid from Chapainawabganj-3 took the floor on the point order to place the demand for formation of a parliamentary committee comprising treasury and opposition MPs to reveal who were involved behind the arson attack on buses in Dhaka on November 12 last.

“(You) set the terms and conditions, we will complete the work within seven days. It should be revealed who were involved behind this incident and this should be placed before the nation,” he said.

He said BNP wants to know who were really involved behind the incident. BNP does not want to trade blame over the incident. 

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