Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated that war criminals would get due punishment no matter what conspiracies BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami hatch to protect them.
She alleged BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was killing people, setting fire to public transports and resorting to vandalism and street movements only to protect the war criminals.
"Don't kill people to protect war criminals. Try to understand what people want," the PM called upon the opposition leader, while inaugurating the long-due council of her party's Dhaka city unit at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan.
The council, held after almost 10 years, was supposed to elect new leadership of the party's city unit, but no election to that end was held yesterday.
Sheikh Hasina, also president of ruling Awami League, directed the city leaders to hold councils of all upazila, union and ward units immediately and strengthen a drive to recruit primary members of the party.
She also asked them to remain alert for any situation in the coming days over the opposition's “movement to foil" the war crimes trial.
Referring to Khaleda's statement that AL is like a snake, Hasina threw a question at the leader of the opposition about the war criminals who had killed people, raped women and torched houses in 1971. "Are they angles and highbred species to you?"
Pointing out different achievements of her government, the prime minister directed the AL leaders to strengthen the party at grassroots level.
Later, addressing the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC) meeting, the PM said dying from snakebites is the fate of a snake charmer and the BNP chairperson puts her faith in the snakes that acted against the country during the Liberation War.
At the meeting held at Gono Bhaban, the AL chief dismissed a proposal of expanding the size of the ALCWC, the highest decision making body of the party.
According to meeting sources, she also informed the meeting that MA Aziz and Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya would continue as the acting president and general secretary of Dhaka city AL until a new committee is formed.
Another source said the party chief, who was empowered by the city councillors yesterday to form the committee, might declare two separate committees for the city tomorrow along with the central committee.
The ALCWC meeting discussed elaborately, more than four hours from 6:00pm, preparation for tomorrow's council, among other issues.
Addressing the city AL council programme, AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam expressed disappointment at city leaders for not conducting a membership drive.
"The city Awami League did not collect membership forms despite repeated directives. Even they did not bring a single membership book from the headquarters. It is not a good thing for the city Awami League," he said.
MA Aziz chaired the programme while Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, AL city Joint Secretary Qamrul Islam and Organising Secretary Shahe Alam Murad presented organisational reports.
Senior AL leaders also attended the council. Hundreds of councillors and activists thronged the Suhrawardy Udyan from early noon. They were supposed to elect new leadership through voting. But the programme ended without holding the council session causing frustration among party workers.