Obaidul Quader said, “On the 25th June, the day of inauguration, no vehicles will run on the bridge. From the morning of 26 June (the opening time yet to be announced), everyone will have to pay a toll to cross the Padma Bridge. The bridge could be opened for a little while on the day before, but that’s not certain yet. That day, people could cross the bridge on foot. We are thinking about allotting a little time for this. Let’s see what happens.”
The minister feels that the Padma Bridge is an apt reply to World Bank’s insult to the Bangabandhu family when it refused to finance the project.
He said, “World Bank accused us of corruption, theft and moved away from the project. World Bank insulted Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Rehana, Joy, Putul, Bobby everyone. They insulted and defamed the entire Bangabandhu family. They hurt our courage and pride, damaged our image. So I would say that the Padma Bridge is not just proof of our capabilities, it’s also our answer to their insults.”
The minister also said that still there is an ongoing conspiracy against the Padma Bridge. “BNP secretary general claimed that Khaleda Zia laid the foundation stone in the Mawa and Zazira points of the Padma Bridge," Quader quoted Fakhrul as saying.
Awami League general secretary said, “These are fairytales he is speaking of. Journalists have asked Barrister Nazmul Huda who was the communications minister during BNP’s last term about the validity of this statement. He said that they had discussed about it but no foundation stones were laid. Lies, how can Mirza Fakhrul spew so many lies!”
Obaidul Quader further said, “They are burning in envy. With poison in their hearts, they are spreading propaganda. They are spreading lies about Padma Bridge.”
He further told the Awami League leaders present at the event, “On the 25th June will have to answer them. Give them an apt reply on 25 June.”
When asked about the Sitakunda fire incident, he said, “A lot of things are happening. I don’t know whether the fire at the container depot was sabotage or not. I don’t know if this was part of a conspiracy ahead of the inauguration of the Padma Bridge.”
He feared that even on the day of inauguration, some might be desperate to stage an incident. He said, “We have to be careful. All of you stay alert. Make sure the enemy doesn’t infiltrate and cause problems.”
Awami League organising secretary and parliament member Mirza Azam hosted the event. Presidium members Abdur Rahman, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Shahjahan Khan were among the many who spoke in the event.