An Interim Election is An Interim Joke
Road transport minister Obaidul Qader does not feel the need for holding an interim election under the prevailing political situation in the country. The minister made it clear in his reaction to Jatiya Party leader Ershad's announcement on September 11 that his party will start campaigning for the interim election starting mid-October. Qader said that there is no realistic pressure on the Sheikh Hasina government to hold an interim election. He was talking to journalists at the toll plaza on Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Sonargaon on September 12, when he further said there is no need for an interim joke in the name of an interim election.
If Tarique Returns…
On the ninth anniversary of Tarique Rahman's release from prison, BNP vice chairman Md. Shahjahan addressed a discussion on September 3 at the capital's Engineers' Institution. He said if Tarique Rahman returns to the country, someone else will have to leave the country. He said if BNP members do their respective duties then it is possible to bring back Tarique within the next six months. Shahjahan did not mention who will have to leave the country, but Mirza Abbas picked up from where he had left and said, "Why leave the country? That person will have to face trial."
"People Will Turn Around One Day"
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that there is a crisis prevailing in the country and there is no alternative to holding elec - tions acceptable to all if this crisis is to be resolved. While speaking to journalists at his residence in Uttara on September 16, he called the govern - ment fascist and added that it is not easy to fight for democracy during a fascist regime. Alamgir expressed his optimism that people will turn around one day and will change this situation. He also said that this crisis has to be overcome because nobody should wish that this country is turned into Afghanistan, Syria or Libya.
Hang Them, Do Not Shoot Them
BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said that people are getting suspicious over the delay in starting a trial process for the militants. He said these militants should not be shot to death but hanged after they are tried. He also claimed that the number of extrajudicial killing has become alarmingly high in the country. He said, "I have never heard that criminals are shot to death in any country of the world. That these militants are getting shot from behind is creating doubts in public mind." While speaking at a meeting in the capital on September 4, Ahmed also added that the militants do not have any nationality or religion because a bunch of confused people are involved in it.
It Only Needs a Little Push
BNP standing committee member Dr. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain believes that only a little push is needed to remove the government from power. According to him, this government is so weak that it will not need more than a slight push to topple it and BNP and its associate bodies will take the responsibility of making it happen. Dr. Hossain said that the government is morally weak and its burden of sins is so heavy that it cannot even remove two of its ministers who have been sentenced by the court. While speaking at a meeting at the National Press Club on September 6, he also said that this government is now afraid that it will be devoured by the same tiger it has been riding.
"Everybody Speak Up, the Country is in Crisis"
While sending Eid greetings to the countrymen, Bikalpadhara president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury urged them to speak up against terrorism and corrup - tion. He exchanged Eid greetings with the party work - ers on September 14 when he said that the country is passing through a serious crisis and being overtaken by terrorism and corruption. He said everyone from his or her respective position must unite with oth - ers and save the country.
Identifying the Opportunists
Joint general secretary of Awami League, Dipu Moni, knows there are opportunists inside the party that must be identified and others should speak up against them. She said that politics of ideals in Bangladesh started to degenerate since the start of military rule and the idealess people are living at home and abroad. Moni said it during a discussion held at the Micro Business Park in London on September 15.
Three Ministers to Blame for the Eid Traffic
BNP leader Shamsuzzaman Dudu has complained that road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Qader, shipping minister Shahjahan Khan and railway minister Mujibul Haque have failed to perform their duties, which caused so much sufferings to the homebound people during the Eid holidays. He said at a meeting in Dhaka on September 17 that Qader should take responsibility for all those killed in road accidents during this time. Dudu also accused the other two ministers and said that the shipping minister does not have the ability to run his ministry although he is very good at cursing Shaheed Ziaur Rahman and Begum Khaleda Zia.
"BNP Secretary General for Yellow Journalism"
Awami League's publicity and publication secretary Hasan Mahmud has blamed BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir for siding with the yellow journalists. While speaking at a discussion on September 17 held in the capital, Mahmud lambasted Alamgir for saying that the newspapers in the country do not enjoy any freedom, which is why 35 online publications have been banned. Mahmud insisted that, in fact, nowhere in the world newspapers have as much freedom as they have in Bangladesh. He added that even the newspapers in the UK, the USA and Europe do not enjoy much freedom. He said the online publications that have been banned were involved in anti-state conspiracy and practiced yellow journalism.
Minister's Security is More Important!
LGRD minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain differed with road transport minister Obaidul Qader's announcement that steps will be taken against ministers, MPs and VIPs if they drive their cars on the wrong side of a road. Hossain believes that a minister can be on the wrong side of the road if that is needed to ensure his security. The minister made his comment while opening a section of the Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover on September 15. He told journalists that it is not a matter at all that it will create traffic congestion but a minister's security is more important than that.