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Prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Thursday strongly criticized the opportunist quarter, including the BNP, for tarnishing country’s image by spreading falsehood in the name of criticism of the government.

“Fire terrorism is BNP’s planned game,” the AL president told AL secretariat meeting at Awami League Central office at Bangabandhu Avenue, where she joined through virtual media from her official residence Ganabhaban here.

She said during the polls to Dhaka-18 constituency held on 12 November, they (BNP) torched some buses but a lawmaker (Harunur Rashid) of BNP in the Jatiya Sangsad raised question whether their party men were involved or not in the fire terrorism.

“BNP cannot avoid the responsibility of the attacks as I had a video in which it showed that their party men were speaking about the plan of the arson attacks,” Hasina said.

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Reminding the past history of the grisly grenade attack on 21 August, the AL chief, also a victim of the bombing, said, “They (BNP) tried to make Awami League scapegoat for the misdeeds and spread propaganda against us.”

“It is unfortunate that BNP men are spreading propaganda after going abroad and slandering Bangladesh by speaking nonsense in many ways,” she added.

The premier said, “Constructive criticism is a valuable tool in politics that allows us to learn and grow but they (BNP) are tarnishing the country’s image abroad by spreading propaganda.”

Pointing to the BNP, the Sheikh Hasina said, “The organization can bring good funds by speaking ill about us from outside; you can still bring funds by brandishing Bangladesh as poor and hungry state. But where this fund goes, in what purpose it is used it must be brought under accountability.”

The premier strongly condemned the media’s criticism of the government’s advancement taking the scope of digitization and freedom of expression.

“I know we have a section of urban people, we have digitalized it, we have given licenses to private TV channels and we have given mobile phones to everyone. Now using those, they are frequently making criticism saying, it has happened, it has not happened and none sees democracy here,” Sheikh Hasina said.

“When Ziaur Rahman illegally seized power through imposing martial law assassination, coup and conspiracy, then was there democracy? Or Khaleda Zia came to power by rigging votes on 15 February (1996) election, is that democracy?” she questioned.

On Coronavirus issue, the prime minister said the COVID-19 pandemic taught people that the money and wealth earned by corrupt means cannot help save lives.

“Money and wealth earned by doing corruption and irregularities doesn’t help save lives . . . the Coronavirus has taught this”, she observed.

The premier added: “The COVID-19 Corona made us understand that the money-wealth earned through corruption and irregularities has no value.”

Hasina said the lethal disease Coronavirus has also gave a lesson to those who used to go abroad for treatment if happens anything.

Referring to the experts’ opinion coincided with the increasing corona infection rate in different countries of the world, she made all alert, saying, “Another wave is likely to push in the winter.”

In this context, the head of the government reiterated her call to wear masks and follow other health rules in a proper manner.

Different countries of the world are struggling to cope with the Corona situation, even the growth rate in many developed countries has gone to minus, Sheikh Hasina mentioned.

She said his government has been able to keep Bangladesh’s economy afloat as a result of rapid and far-reaching and planned steps since the corona was identified.

In addition, 2,000 doctors, nurses and technologists were appointed soon after the onset of Coronavirus outbreak.

Sheikh Hasina said her government successfully has been able to keep Bangladesh’s economy afloat due to rapid, far-sighted and planned steps since the corona was identified

Noting that the world economy has come to a standstill due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Sheikh Hasina said the incumbent government provided an incentive package to address the situation and keep the country’s economic activities afloat.

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About the vaccine, the PM said different researches on vaccine are being carried out and the government has paid money in advance and “Bangladesh will get the vaccine whenever it comes in the market.”

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that it was possible to keep the death rate of Corona pandemic low in Bangladesh due to taking up of pragmatic steps overcoming the fear of the fatal diseases.

“At the same time, utmost emphasis was laid on increasing food production in the country to tackle the subsequent affect of the coronavirus,” she mentioned.

About her Awami League government, the PM said people of the country have deep faith and confidence in the Awami League as the AL government usually works for the people.