Reiterating her government's firm stance against corruption, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday claimed that the government was not interfering in the activities of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and would not do so in the future.
"The country would not have witnessed such development in the last four years had we been indulged in corruption. The ACC is working independently and it did not enjoy such freedom in the past," she told a view-exchange meeting with the grassroots-level leaders of Habiganj District Awami League at her Gono Bhaban residence.
Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said, "The ACC is summoning and interrogating the ministers, advisers and parliament members whenever they want. This practice was fully absent during the tenures of Khaleda Zia and HM Ershad.”
She alleged that the ACC would not be able to do so if the BNP was in power as “the BNP hooligans would have attacked the ACC officials”.
On the other hand, Hasina said, the aim of the present government was to ensure accountability and transparency in all spheres of the government. "Our policy is to root out corruption and bring solvency in the life of the people," she added.
Hasina blasted again BNP chief Khaleda Zia for announcing anti-government movement in the month of victory and called upon her to refrain from such agitation, which the prime minister claimed, was declared to the war criminals.
The prime minister alleged that the BNP chairperson was playing a dubious game about the trial of the 1971 culprits to misguide people.
"Khaleda Zia goes to Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur to pay respect to the martyred intellectuals on December 14 in one hand, while she announced anti-government programmes in the victory month of December to save the war criminals who killed intellectuals at the dawn of the victory," Hasina said making a question: “Isn't it a pretence of Khaleda Zia?”
Hasina also binned the opposition's demand for restoration of the caretaker government.
Highlighting the background of the caretaker government, she said Awami League was compelled to start the movement for caretaker government in the mid '90s following vote rigging of the BNP government in different polls including Magura and Mirpur by-polls.
She said hundreds of people were killed in the national and local government polls during the rule of BNP governments. "The killers of Bangabandhu were brought in
parliament through the farcical and voter-less February 15th elections," she said.
She said the country turned into a sanctuary for terrorists and militants like Bangla Bhai from 2001 to 2006 due to patronisation of the four-party alliance government.
Hasina said the people did not forget the two-year tyrannical rule of the past caretaker government as they unleashed a reign of panic across the country.
She asked if there was any guarantee that a caretaker government would hold elections within three months. “Is there any guarantee they won't throw Khaleda Zia into jail again and send her sons abroad after giving a good
The prime minister claimed that all the elections held during the present government were staged in a free, fair and neutral manner and no question was raised about it.
AL presidium members Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Abdul Latif Siddiqui and Satish Chandra Roy; Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid; Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury; and Labour Affairs Secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj were also present on the occasion.