Compromise behind the scenes with everyone, election on time: Obaidul Quader

Bangladesh Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader speaks at a rally in Aminbazar, Savar, on 3 October, 2023
Prothom Alo

A compromise has been made secretly with everyone, said governing Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday.

He also asked the party leaders and activists to make preparations for the next parliamentary elections.

“A compromise has been reached secretly. America needs Delhi, Delhi is there, we’re also there. Sheikh Hasina has struck a balance with everyone. There’s nothing to worry about anymore. The election will be held on time.”

Obaidul Quader said this while speaking as chief guest at a “Peace and development rally” at Aminbazar Truck Terminal in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital city, in the afternoon.

Dhaka district Awami League organised the rally where leaders and activists from seven upazilas including Dhamrai, Savar, Dohar, Nababganj and Keraniganj participated. This was said from the stage.

AL presidium members, joint secretaries, organising secretaries and leaders from district and upazila units spoke at the rally. All of them focused on the next parliamentary election and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s one-point movement.

Saying that “the game has started”, the leaders announced to keep the field under their control until the polls.

At the outset of his speech, Obaidul Quader raised the issue of US visa restrictions. He claimed that two selfies have done wonders. One of the selfies was taken in Delhi, and another one in New York. Wonders have been achieved in New Delhi through the selfie of Sheikh Hasina, Putul and Joe Biden; then in New York. Where’re sanctions? Where’s the visa policy?”

Mentioning that a compromise has been reached behind the scenes, Obaidul Quader said at the rally, “A compromise has been made. There’s Delhi, America needs Delhi. We’re there, Delhi is also there. Delhi is there, we’re also there. There’s no enmity with anyone, rather we’ve friendship with all. Sheikh Hasina has struck a balance with all. There’s nothing to worry about anymore. The election will be held on time. Take preparations for the election.”

Stating that the warnings of visa policy have ended, the AL general secretary said, “We do not care about the visa policy. We want a peaceful election. Why is the visa policy, and sanctions then? A free and fair election will be held. There won’t be sanctions anymore. Fakhrul’s (BNP secretary general) voice has softened.”

BNP’s committing foul

Remarking that the BNP leaders are now at their wits end, Quader said BNP is fatigued. How many threats they hurled at us. October is passing now. The 48-hour ultimatum has drowned in the Buriganga (a river in Dhaka). People do not want to see anything except an election. Seventy per cent people will cast votes for Sheikh Hasina if the polls take place right at this moment, he insisted.

Mentioning that the game has started from October, Obaidul Quader said the semi-final will be played in November and the final will be held in January. BNP is now committing fouls. If you commit a foul, you will see yellow cards and red cards. No foul can be committed. Take preparations for the final. They said the government will be ousted in October. Which October? Nothing will happen even in November and December.

A lame team like BNP won’t be able to play the final, he said. Addressing the leaders and activists, the AL leader said, “Be strong, try to realise the strategy. There will be a serious game.”

Conspiracies going on against AL

Obaidul Quader said the BNP leaders are saying that Sheikh Hasina is showing cruelty. They killed the family of Bangabandhu on 15 August (in 1975). General Ziaur Rahman is the mastermind of the murders. A grenade attack was carried out on 21 August to kill Sheikh Hasina. Who’s cruel? Who did this? Hawa Bhaban. Tarique Rahman wanted to kill Sheikh Hasina, he insisted.

Mentioning that so far conspiracies have been made 20 times to kill Sheikh Hasina, the AL general secretary said was there any attack even for once on Khaleda Zia? The Awami League does not believe in the politics of killing and conspiracies. But the AL falls victim to conspiracies time and again. Conspiracy against the AL is going on even at this moment.

Obaidul Quader stated that the people have already realised that they do not have any benefit in the hustle and bustle of BNP. If the BNP goes to power, it would destroy democracy, and commit corruption and looting. “Realising the commission by Hawa Bhaban would begin if they go to power by any means. People do not want the party that has a past record of committing corruption.”

Obaidul Quader claimed that none but the BNP has kept the case against Khaleda Zia pending. “Khaleda Zia did not appear before the court in the last 4-5 years. The case against Khaleda Zia could have been settled by this time, maybe she could have secured release. But the settlement could not be reached because of the BNP.

Prices to fall before polls

Acknowledging that the price hike of goods in the market, Obaidul Quader said, the price hike is a global phenomenon now. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has been trying to bring down the prices. The prices will decrease before the election. Don’t worry, prices will come down within the buying capacity of the people.

No fear in anyone’s glare

Speaking at the rally, AL presidium member Quamrul Islam said caretaker government system will not reappear in Bangladesh. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will be the head of the polls-time government. The people of Bangladesh do not care about the visa policy. There is no fear in anyone’s glare. The election will be held on time.

Dhaka district Awami League president Benzir Ahmed chaired the rally while the unit’s general secretary Poniruzzaman was the moderator.