Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud addresses a “peace rally” organised by ruling Awami League’s Rangpur city unit to “protest against the anarchy and terrorism of BNP-Jamaat (Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami) clique at the central bus terminal of Rangpur” on 18 February 2023

Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) has formed an alliance with abandoned political ‘Tokais’ (vagabonds), which means the party has no prospect in the next (12th) parliamentary elections too, reports news agency BSS.

“BNP has formed alliances many times with rightists and leftists, extreme rightists and extreme leftists. But, they have been defeated by the shape of development under the capable leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.

The minister was addressing the “peace rally” organised by ruling Awami League’s Rangpur city unit to “protest against the anarchy and terrorism of BNP-Jamaat (Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami) clique at the central bus terminal of the city”.

Hasan Mahmud, also joint general secretary of the ruling party, said BNP had forged an alliance with those abandoned political parties who have no news, no name, and no address, have a president but no secretary or have a secretary but no president.

“After forming an alliance with rightists-leftists and extreme rightists, extreme leftists, BNP got only six seats in the 2018 elections. They broke their 22-party alliance and formed a 12-party alliance and then a 34-party alliance. Now 16 leaders of the alliance are seen on stage and 100 journalists. This is the scenario of their meeting-rallies,” he said.

“It does not need to become an expert to understand that BNP has no chance in the elections,” he said.

The BNP-Jamaat clique alliance is marching at daytime and visiting foreign embassies at nights. Foreign diplomats now are not giving appointments to the BNP leaders, he added.

“BNP knows that they will not be able to come to power with people’s mandates in future, so they have started conspiracies. BNP again has engaged in fire terrorism the way they had set fire on buses and schools and burnt innocent people, drivers and musollis (devotees) in 2013, 2014 and 2015” said Hasan.

Citing the example of lawyer Abdus Sattar, who left the BNP after resignation of six BNP MPs last December and was re-elected as an independent lawmaker in the February by-election, the minister said “hundreds of Abdus Sattars are ready to participate in the next elections if BNP don’t participate”.

Hasan further said BNP has once again fielded arsonists and terrorists in the entire country. The arsonists who set fire on buses, trains, launches, trucks, burnt people to death in 2013-14-15, are back in the field.

Recalling the people of Rangpur, he said, on the way back from the Biswa Ijtema, the arsonists and terrorists burnt a man of Rangpur to death. They set a truck on fire in Rangpur and burned its driver who was sleeping in the driving seat at night, the ruling party leaders said.

“In 2014, they burnt hundreds of polling stations and schools where children lamented with burnt pieces of books pressed to their chests, they came to the field again, that’ is why we hold peace rallies,” Hasan said.

Terming BNP as a venomous snake, the minister said BNP is now taking breathe in the name of ‘Padojatra’ (walkathon) to bite again through fire terrorism whenever it gets a chance.

He claimed, “BNP is conducting fire terrorism, attacks and mischief in the country to create anarchy while Awami League is holding peace rallies to stop mischief and maintain peace in the country.”

BNP terrorists are also attacking the peace rally of Awami League, he added.

“We have seen attacks on our gatherings by their marches, and terrorists’ rampaging with pistols raised in Sirajganj and other districts,” he said.

Highlighting the role of Awami League in the development of Rangpur, he said, Rangpur was not upgraded to a division during the 10 years of Khaleda Zia, nine and a half years of Hussein Muhammad Ershad.

“People’s leader Sheikh Hasina has made Rangpur a division, made it a city corporation, Dhaka-Rangpur connection highway has been upgraded to six lanes, whereas the lifeline of the country’s economy Dhaka-Chittagong highway is still four lanes,” said Hasan.

Presided over by Rangpur city Awami League convener Md. Delwar Hossain, joint convener Md. Abul Kashem moderated the peace rally.

Awami League organising secretary Sujit Roy Nandi addressed the peace rally as the keynote speaker.

AL central member advocate Safura Begum Rumi, Rangpur-2 constituency MP, Abul Kalam Md Ahsanul Haque Chowdhury Seuk, district AL convener Chhayadat Hossain Bakul, joint convener Majed Ali Babul and local leaders also spoke at the programme.