No one assigned to request India to back govt: Quader

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader speaks at the inauguration of central Janmastami rally in the capital’s Palashi intersection on Friday afternoon.Prothom Alo

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said Awami League has never requested India to back this government to cling onto power and none has been assigned to make the request on behalf of the Sheikh Hasina government.

"It could be the personal opinion of the person (foreign minister) who said this. The statement has nothing to do with either the government or the party," he added.

The road transport and bridges minister said these while speaking as the chief guest at the inauguration of central Janmastami rally in the capital’s Palashi intersection on Friday afternoon.

Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee organised the rally marking one of the notable religious festival of the Hindu community, Janmashtami which is the birth anniversary of Shree Krishna.

Obaidul Quader said, “We have a friendly relation with India. India has been our friend in bad time. We were bound by blood in 1971. But, that doesn’t mean we’ll request India for clinging onto power; Awami League doesn’t and didn’t make such requests."

“No one has been assigned for that by the Sheikh Hasina Government. The people of Bangladesh are the source of our support and power,” he added.

Obaidul Quader said, “I want to make it clear that the statement has nothing to do with either the government or the party. This in fact embarrasses India as well. How can we say such a thing? The friendship is in a good shape. Don’t ruin it with unnecessary statements.”

Obaidul Quader also said prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit India in September next. He said there might be agreements on some more issues then. There will be discussions on strengthening transaction and partnership even further.

Mentioning that the government does not want hostility with India, the ruling party general secretary said, “Brewing animosity with India after 1975, our country harmed the most. When Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi came to power, they broke that wall of mistrust and confusion down.”

Obaidul Quader claimed that after the current government came to power people of the Hindu community peacefully celebrated festivals like Durga Puja and Janmashtami, except some isolated incidents.

He said, some violent incidents have been happening recently. People who vandalise temples and houses, do not belong to any parties. Rather, they are miscreants and enemies for everyone.

Highlighting that people of the Hindu community is not a minority in this country Obaidul Quader said, “You fought in the liberation war. You too have the same rights. There’s no one to deny your right.”

“BNP is the trusted home of communal politics. They are the ones that prompt and instigate that”, Obaidul Quader warned to be aware of them.

Manindra Kumar Nath, president of Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee presided over the event. Following his speech, Fazle Noor Taposh, mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, inaugurated the Janmashtami rally lighting the veneration lamp.

The mayor said, “We have been able to bring out the Janmashtami rally once again this year following a gap of several years due to the corona outbreak.”

Devotees gathered at the Palashi intersection with rallies on behalf of different monasteries, temples and organisations of the city. Thousands of people joined the rally that started from Palashi More area at around 4.30 in the afternoon. The rally ended at Bahadur Shah Park after parading the Shikkha Bhaban, Police Headquarters and Gulistan areas.