AL govt sheltering many corrupt elements like Aziz, Benazir: Farroque

Zainul Abedin Farroque, BNP chairperson’s advisory council member, addresses a demonstration in front of the National Press Club on 28 June, 2024Collected

The Awami League government is providing shelter to numerous corrupt individuals like former army chief Aziz Ahmed and former police chief Benazir Ahmed, alleged Zainul Abedin Farroque, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson’s advisory council member, on Friday. 

“Where are Benazir (former police chief Benazir Ahmed), Aziz (former army chief Aziz Ahmed) and Matiur (NBR member Matiur Rahman) today?” he asked.

Speaking at a demonstration, the leader of the de facto opposition said new corrupt individuals like National Board of Revenue’s first secretary (taxes, legal and enforcement) Quazi Abu Mahmud Faisal have emerged.

“In Bangladesh, there are numerous individuals thriving under the shelter of the government, who have amassed hundreds of thousands of taka by plundering and making homes abroad. They also created mansions with swimming pools to swim at night. These people must be exposed, or the people of Bangladesh will never forgive you,” the BNP leader said.

Farroque, a former opposition chief whip in parliament, criticised the Awami League general secretary for his political rhetoric supporting the government amidst increasing allegations of corruption against government officials.

“The people of Bangladesh are very conscious. You’re in power with the support of a few bureaucrats. You have not been able to win over the people of Bangladesh for a single day,” he claimed.

Projonmo Bangladesh, a pro-opposition platform, organised the demonstration in front of the National Press Club to protest against the “illegitimate government’s illegal agreement with India”.

Farroque said the ruling party, which came to power through what he described as a sham election, also orchestrated a similar process in upazila polls involving relatives of Awami League leaders, going against the will of the country’s people.

“Awami League, which destroyed democracy by standing in parliament for five minutes and making MPs by bringing ballot boxes by helicopter, has once again usurped power through the controversial elections in 2014, 2018, and 2024,” he said.

The BNP leader strongly opposed the Indian government’s plan to develop a network of railway tracks through Bangladesh to connect the northeast region with the rest of India. 

“I would like to say that we won’t accept these unequal agreements with India. The country’s people can’t accept them. Revoke these unfair deals,” he said.

Farroque urged the BNP to announce more rigorous programmes to engage people in a movement against “these inequitable agreements with India”.