‘BNP destroyed democracy, AL repairing it’

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader talks to newspersons after placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No. 32 in Dhaka marking historic 7 March on 7 March 2023Prothom Alo

BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) has destroyed democracy in the country but Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, repaired it, said the ruling party’s general secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday.

“There is no democracy within the BNP itself. How can they establish democracy in the country?” asked Quader. He was talking to newspersons after placing wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road 32 in Dhaka marking historic 7 March.

“Democracy is a lengthy process. Democracy will not achieve institutional form overnight. There are efforts from our side. Democracy has been gaining institutional shape gradually. The extent of democracy that the country has achieved so far was achieved under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. How did they practice democracy when they were in power?” said Obaidul Quader, also road transport and bridges minister.

Mentioning that the BNP banned the 7 March speech, the AL general secretary also said, “7 March is a historic milepost that changed the history of Bangladesh. They banned the speech that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) recognised as one of the best speeches in the world. We do not think BNP has an iota of faith in this day, in the spirit of liberation war.”

The Awami League leader further said only Bangabandhu had the mandate to announce independence since he was a people’s representative. Nobody else had the legal right to announce independence. Many people are claimed to have proclaimed independence, but actually they were announcers. There is a difference between an announcer and the person who proclaims.

Regarding the 7 March speech, Obaidul Quader said, “On that day Bangabandhu said, ‘this time our struggle is for the struggle of liberation, this time our struggle is for the struggle of independence’. The main proclamation of independence became clear through the historic 7 March speech at Suhrawardy Udyan. Through this speech our 23 years of struggle for autonomy turned into a fight for independence. This was the change from autonomy to independence.”