Govt can’t survive by making Suranjit scapegoat: BNPStaff Correspondent
The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Tuesday said the entire government should resign for indulging in ‘widespread corruption’ and it could not be survive by making Suranjit Sengupta a ‘scapegoat’.
The party’s acting secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, at a rally in protest against ‘widespread corruption’ said that probes by institutions like World Bank had found evidence of corruption by the government and that they also pointed the finger at the head of the government.
BNP’s Dhaka city unit organised the rally in front of the party’s central office at Naya Paltan.
‘Not a single office of the government is now free from corruption. Corruption has gripped the entire state machinery from distribution of vulnerable group feeding cards at grassroots level to the top of the government. Institutions like World Bank initiated probe into the Padma bridge project and found evidence of corruption by Syed Abul Hossain and they also pointed the finger at the head of the government,’ he said.
He also slammed the government for not initiating a judicial probe into corruption in the railways ministry. ‘Corruption has gripped every ministry and only the railways ministry has been caught red handed,’ he said.
Fakhrul said the parliamentary committee on civil aviation ministry had recommended that Biman’s governing body should be dissolved for corruption. ‘Indemnity was given to relatives of the prime minister who indulged in corruption in setting up power plants,’ he claimed.
‘The prime minister claims an increase in power production by 3,500 megawatts but statistics of Power Development Board shows hardly 500 megawatts increase. Thousands of crores of Taka have been plundered by relatives of the prime minister and her ministers. Having failed to provide electricity, the government now wants factories to be shut,’ he said.
Fakhrul said whenever Awami League came to power it engaged in plunder. ‘Maulana Bhasani in 1973 branded the party as “all Bangladesh plunderers’ association” and a similar situation now prevails, he added.
The BNP leader criticised the ‘huge arrangements’ for reception to the prime minister for her ‘conquest of sea’. ‘You could do nothing for
the people but now claim to have conquered the sea. We thought you have done something good for the country but found nothing so. Rather we lost a number of oil-gas blocks.’
Fakhrul asked the government to hold a public debate on the sea issue claiming that the BNP was ready for the debate.
He said that economists had advised the government not to allow new banks to operate but it permitted nine more banks to operate each of which had to deposit 400 crore Taka. ‘People want to know the source of the huge amount of money of the entrepreneurs of the new banks,’ he said.
The BNP leader accused the government of stalling Dhaka city corporation elections. ‘They thought we might not contest the polls. When we hinted [we might contest] it, they stopped the election [process] for three months by exploiting legal loopholes,’ he alleged.
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said corruption in the railways ministry was only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. ‘Mountainous corruption hidden beneath is yet to be ascertained,’ he said.
Moudud said resignation of Suranjit Sengupta was not enough rather the entire episode needed to be thoroughly probed. ‘There was a recruitment process in 7,000 positions in eastern railway and Tk five lakh was collected against each of the recruitments which means Tk 350 crore was transacted in a single affair,’ he said.
BNP vice-chairman Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzman Dudu, joint secretary general Amanullah Aman and economic affairs secretary Abdus Salam also spoke at the rally presided over by its Dhaka city convener Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
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