BNP is plunged into political crisis, not country: Hasan

Publish: 6:23 PM, January 9, 2020 | Update: 6:23:PM, January 9, 2020

DHAKA, – Stating that there is no political crisis in the country, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud toady said BNP itself is plunged into political problems in terms of weak political leadership and direction-less journey.

“BNP thinks that the problem of the country is political stalemate. But, Bangladesh is not facing any political problem,” he said, addressing the views exchange meeting with the executive committee members of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat here.

State Minister for Information Dr Murad Hasan and Information Secretary Begum Kamrun Nahar were present at the meeting.

Hasan said BNP has demanded to hold an election soon. But, it is not a demand of the countrymen, he added.

Replying to a query on BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s allegation that people have got upset over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s address to the nation, the minister said the common people are happy with the speech of the premier. The countrymen have congratulated the Prime Minister, he added.

He said BNP has political crisis and the country’s Prime Minister could not solve their crisis.

“The Prime Minister has stated how the country is moving ahead. She (Sheikh Hasina) said that how she wants to take forward the nation. In her speech, the Prime Minister has also said that the ongoing anti-graft drives will continue,” Hasan added.

On the other hand, the minister said, “The premier, in her address, also has admitted government’s weakness in some cases. The countrymen are happy and have congratulated her.”

But, he said, BNP could not be happy. “Actually, the demands of BNP are their own demands, not of mass people. For this, BNP has got upset,” said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.

Replying to another query on BNP’s allegations against the Election Commission (EC), the minister said BNP remains in the most advantageous position in the Dhaka north and south city corporations’ polls as all their leaders could join the election campaign.

“As per the electoral code of conduct, important persons enjoying government facilities cannot take part in the election campaign. BNP remains in an advantageous position in this regard,” he said.

Hasan said in all parliamentary democratic countries like India and the United Kingdom, the ministers can take part in polls campaign without availing government facilities. But, in Bangladesh, it is not possible. So, under current circumstances, BNP is in a much better position than Awami League, he added.

In his address in the view exchange meeting, Hasan said mass media flourished in Bangladesh during the tenure of the Awami League government.

“Mass media rapidly flourished in Bangladesh during the time of the Sheikh Hasina-led government. For the first time, she gave approval to private television channels in the country,” he added.

“She (Sheikh Hasina) gave first private TV license after assuming power in 1996. Now around 35 private TV channels are on air while 45 channels got licenses,” he added.

The information minister said the government will work with the print and the broadcast journalists and workers to ensure legal protection of their jobs and other facilities. “The legal protection will be ensured if the Mass Media Employees (Services & Conditions) Act is passed,” he added.

The minister said, “I’m working relentlessly for the betterment of the journalists after taking charge of the ministry. Discipline has been established in the media sector following different steps.”

DRU President Rafiqul Islam Azad, Vice President Nazrul Kabir, General Secretary Riaz Chowdhury, Joint Secretary Helimul Alam Biplob and Organizing Secretary Habibur Rahman, among others, were present in the meeting.