400Published on June 23, 2022
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today questioned how Tarique Rahman can lead BNP when "he can't dare to return home".
Tarique went abroad during the caretaker government's tenure, giving a bond that he would "not do politics anymore", the prime minister said while addressing a discussion – marking the 73rd founding anniversary of Bangladesh Awami League.
Sheikh Hasina, also president of AL, presided over the discussion held at her party's central office in Dhaka's Bangabandhu Avenue through a videoconference from Gono Bhaban.
She said it is incorrect to say that Tarique is not allowed to return to Bangladesh. "None drove him out. He willingly went abroad and didn't return," she said.
Rather, Sheikh Hasina said, she was obstructed from returning home during the caretaker government's tenure, but she returned home, taking it as a challenge.
Noting that she was sued in a murder case and arrest warrant was issued against her, the PM said she announced she would return home, appear before the court and face the case.
"How can the election be participatory when a party was created from 'the pocket' of a person who illegally grabbed power and now its leaders are convicted of corruption, murder and arms-haul charges?" – the prime minister asked, adding that Tarique is a fugitive too.
Referring to the 2018 national election, the PM said BNP leaders changed their candidate in a constituency on several occasions due to "nomination business".
She said Enam Ahmed Chowdhury and Morshed Khan told her that Tarique sought money in exchange for giving them the party's nomination, but they refused.
PM questioned how the party can attract voters when they start election business and how people can vote for a party when it is leaderless.
Criticising the BNP acting chairman, she said Tarique Rahman has proven that his parents Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia were involved in the August 1975 carnage conspiracy by supporting the slogan "Pochatturer hatiar (Weapons of '75)" of the killers.