Musa counters PM remarksStaff Correspondent
Journalist ABM Musa on Sunday countered the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, who earlier asked whether one of the people who criticises the government on television talk-shows and wanted a television channel licence but was denied would steal money to run television channel.
Musa, also a former Awami League lawmaker, in a press statement on Sunday asked back whether the people who were given such licences had stolen money to run the channels.
Hasina at a meeting of the Awami League central working committee at Ganabhaban on Saturday made the remarks after Musa on a television talk-show had called Awami League men thieves.
He said that Awami League leaders and activists should be called thieves whenever they were seen in public.
Hasina at the ALCWC meeting said that ‘an elderly person’ who earlier had applied for a television channel licence but was denied was saying such things out of grievances caused by not being given the licence.
Musa called Awami League men thieves on September 4 on a television talk-show on the Hallmark scam.
In the statement, Musa said, ‘I dare to ask back the prime minister from where the state minister, the lawmaker and others who have been given television channel licences got the money.’
‘Have they stolen money? Will they steal money to run their TV channels? She knows well that the channels are criticising her government. Not only that, the TV channels criticising the government have now fallen in the hands of people who belong to the anti-government camp,’ the statement said.
Musa gave a brief account of how he was denied the permission of a TV channel licence. He also talked about the possible reasons for not being given the licence.
‘I want to humbly remind the prime minister that she knew that it was the LabAid Group which was to finance the proposed television channel and the group had made me the chairman of the TV channel with only a 10 per cent ownership,’ it said.
Musa said that he had engaged his friend, columnist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, in pursuing the prime minister to issue a licence in his favour.
Abdul Gaffar later told Musa that the prime minister was doubtful about the political identity of the people behind the project.
Musa said that the prime minister had asked the then information minister to have him involved with a different TV channel.
‘And I also sat at a meeting with a state minister in this regard. I, however, declined to accept the offer as I did not want to betray my entrepreneurs,’ he added.
Musa, however, criticised the prime minister for attending the cardiac conference organised on November 25, 2011 by Shamim, a physician who is one of the owners of the LabAid Group and for sitting beside him.
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