Vol. 5 Num 992 Fri. March 16, 2007  
Front Page

If voted to power, AL would legitimise CG's activities
Says Hasina; wants polls as early as possible

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the AL, if voted to power, would legitimise the activities of the present caretaker government as it has earned the confidence and appreciation of the people.

She said the government should hold the polls while this confidence and respect is there.

Hasina made these remarks while replying to reporters' queries at Zia International Airport before leaving for the United States early yesterday.

UNB adds: Sheikh Hasina said it would be good for the caretaker government and the country if Parliamentary election was held as early as possible to save democracy.

"Delaying election in a democratic process is not a good sign...the caretaker government should hold the polls earlier to save democracy," she said, adding that it would not be good to keep the election postponed for an indefinite period.

Talking to reporters at Zia International Airport (ZIA) prior to her departure for US, Hasina said people had waged movement for free, fair and credible polls to elect a government of their choice.

"Frustration may generate among the people for delaying the polls...frustration leads to agitation, but we don't want any further agitation," she said.

Hasina left here by a British Airways flight to see her ailing daughter-in-law Christina who has been suffering from gall bladder complications. On way to Washington, Hasina may stay a couple of days in London to see her younger sister Sheikh Rehana.

Terming the caretaker government an "outcome" of the Awami League-led alliance's movement, Hasina said it would be shameful and also a failure for them, if the caretaker administration failed to hold free and fair election at the right time.

Referring to the current anti-graft operation, the AL president said people are appreciating the drive and they will applaud the caretaker government if it assists to run the country under democratic process.

"Don't be afraid of the drive by the joint forces. There is nothing to fear as this drive is being conducted for catching big thieves and curbing corruption," she said and vowed that she would intensify the anti-graft drive if voted to power.

Hasina urged the caretaker government to continue the drive against thieves, corrupts and those who grabbed and smuggled out people's wealth. "But some innocent people had been arrested during this drive. Why Obaidul Quader and Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir were arrested? How much wealth they have?"

She said: "When I spoke against the corruption of the coalition government, everybody thought it was due to political vindictiveness. But the current drive has proved that BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami are really corrupt."

About the search at her Sudha Sadan by the army-led joint forces, the AL chief urged the caretaker administration to conduct similar search at Khaleda Zia's house at Dhaka Cantonment. "Let the people see the lifestyle of Khaleda Zia's family and what they possess."

Describing speculations over her visit to America for uncertain period as rumour, Hasina said some people are spreading such rumour only with bad intention. "Where shall I go? I am begging just 30 days out of 365 from the people for my son," she said.

She said political activities have been restricted and Joy's wife gave birth to a daughter recently. "I should have gone earlier, but only for the people's interest, I deprived my only son," she said, adding that she would return home at any moment to help solve the people's problems.