Money has a role to play in polls: Quader

মঙ্গলবার, ২৭ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬

27 December 2016 Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said that political parties are violating the limit of election expenditure permitted by the Election Commission in many cases.

“We can’t deny that money has a role to play. Political parties should keep their election expenditure within the permitted limit,” reports Bangla daily Prothom Alo quoting Quader, also the Roads Bridges and Transport minister.

The minister was talking to reporters at the conference room of the ministry in Dhaka.


Niko graft: SC upholds HC orders staying proceedings against Moudud

রবিবার, ১১ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬

11 December 2016 The Supreme Court today upheld a High Court order that stayed for eight weeksthe trial proceedings against BNP leader Moudud Ahmed in Niko graft case.The apex court also asked the HC bench led by Justice M Enayetur Rahim to hear and dispose of by January 19 next year a rule issued over the trial proceedings against Moudud.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission challenging the HC’s stay order.

Following another petition filed by former law minister Moudud, the HC on December 1 stayed the trial proceedings against him in the case for eight weeks.

The court also issued a rule asking the ACC and the government to explain as to why the trial proceedings against Moudud should not be scrapped, ACC’s lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star.

The ACC filed the Niko corruption case in December 2007 over charges that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and several others had abused powers to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko when she was the prime minister between 2001 and 2006.

Former law minister Moudud Ahmed was, among others, also accused in the case.


BNP's Mirza Fakhrul campaigns for party's mayor candidate in Narayanganj City polls

শনিবার, ১০ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬

10 December 2016 Seven mayor aspirants are running in the polls slated for Dec 22 while election officials cleared 156 councillor candidates and another 37 for reserved women councillors.
Leaders of the 20-Party alliance campaigned at the city's Kolibazar, Puran Court, Golachipa, and Chasharha’s Dipo Bazar area. They distributed leaflets and sought votes for Sakhawat.
"The people of Narayanganj, who believe in the rule of law, democracy and right to vote have gathered here today," said Mirza Fakhrul. "The people of Narayanganj will choose the candidate nominated by Khaleda Zia in this election."
Leaders from the BNP-led 20-Party alliance also joined the campaign, which took off after a rally from the Narayanganj BNP offices at the city's Chasharha.
The ruling Awami League has put incumbent mayor Selina Hayat Ivy as its candidate.
Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Standing Committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Ray on Saturday campaigned for the party's candidate Shakhawat Hossain Khan in the city.

Senior BNP leaders have hit the campaign trail for the mayor race in Narayanganj.


Cops probing incident of 4 missing youths

মঙ্গলবার, ০৬ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬

06 December 2016 Law enforcers are investigating the incident of the sudden disappearance of four youths in the capital, Dhaka Metropolitan Police said today.

Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said two missing diaries were recorded in this regard and police were discharging earnest efforts to trace them.

The four youths are:  Zain Hossain Khan Pavel, Shafayat Hossain, Mahedi Hasan and Md Sujan.

READ MORE: Police clueless about the four missing youths

Of them, Pavel and Shafayat are students of North South University and childhood friends, while Mahedi is a student of BM College in Barisal, and Sujan is an employee at an advertising firm in Dhaka, according to their families and friends.


BNP demands ‘neutral’ search body to form EC

মঙ্গলবার, ১৫ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

15 November 2016 Rejecting the government’s attempt to constitute a search committee by President Abdul Hamid to form the election commission, BNP today demanded a “neutral” search body engaging all political parties.

“The search committee initiated by President Abdul Hamid will be nothing but carrying out the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, there is no confusion over this,” BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed said while addressing a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office in Dhaka.

READ MORE: EC Reconstitution: President to hold dialogue with all

“Kazi Rakibuddin-led election commission has set an example before the nation on what could be the fate of such a search committee formed by the president,” he said.

“The incumbent prime minister enjoys power like an emperor. Country’s people know it very well how much power the president enjoys in this regard [formation of search committee],” he said in a written statement.

READ MORE: Move on to form another ‘subservient’ EC: BNP

Rizvi also said ruling Awami League, using president, wants to form a search committee biased towards them and thus hold another national election like the one under the Rakibuddin-led election commission in 2014.

READ MORE: ‘Khaleda to present outline soon for credible EC’

“Chaotic situation will be created in the country if the government finally moves to materialise such an evil design,” he added.

In the written statement, the BNP senior leader said his party wants the participation of all political parties in formation of the election commission.

Attack on Hindus: BNP terms probe report 'stage-managed'

The party has also rejected the probe report by police on the hate attack on Hindu houses and their temples at Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria terming it as “stage-managed and false”.

READ MORE: Attack On B'baria Hindus: Police probe for action against 2 errant cops

Rizvi said police wanted to save Awami League lawmaker RAM Obaidul Muktadir and Minister Sayedul Hoque whose internal conflicts are responsible for the mayhem.

Police have mentioned names of two local BNP leaders in its probe report to hide AL leaders’ involvement in the atrocities.

Following the attacks on Hindu community, the police headquarter formed a four-member probe body led by Shakhawat Hossain, additional deputy inspector general of police (Chittagong Range), to investigate the incident.

The committee submitted its report yesterday. The probe body identified negligence of local UNO and officer-in-charge of Nasirnagar Police Station in discharging their duties to save Hindu minorities from the attack.

Some media reported that the committee has identified several local BNP leaders including vice-president of Nasirnagar Upazila BNP Jamal Uddin and vice-president of Nasirnagar Sadar unit Jubo Dal, Billal Hossain, who were involved in the attack.

In the briefing, Rizvi alleged that names of the BNP leaders were included in the probe report to hide the real perpetrators behind the attacks.


HC asks ex-minister Morshed, wife, son to surrender

বুধবার, ০৯ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

09 November 2016 The High Court today directed former BNP foreign minister M Morshed Khan, his wife Nasrin Khan and their son Faisal Morshed Khan to surrender before the lower court concerned in six weeks in a money laundering case.

The High Court however asked the lower court to grant them bail after their surrender.

Delivering a verdict on a revision petition file by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the High Court extended till March 31 next year its earlier order for freezing the bank accounts of Morshed, Nasrin and their son Faisal with Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice JBM Hassan also permitted the ACC to investigate into the money launder case.

The ACC filed the case in 2013 and gave a final report to a Dhaka court in July 2015 saying they did not launder money. The court accepted the report on April 15 this year and exempted the three.

Hong Kong police, who had frozen the accounts in 2008 under an administrative order, sent a letter to ACC asking if legal proceeding were ongoing as they planned on opening the accounts, according to the ACC.

ACC then submitted two petitions to the Dhaka court seeking to revive and reinvestigate the case. The court rejected the petitions on June 2 and ACC moved the revision petition on June 5 challenging the rejection.


BNP Chairperson Khaleda pays respects to Ziaur Rahman on 'Solidarity Day'

সোমবার, ০৭ নভেম্বর ২০১৬
07 November 2016 BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has paid respects to her husband and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman on the anniversary of the uprising that brought him to power in 1975.

BNP leaders including Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir joined her as she placed flowers at Zia’s grave in Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar at 11:30am on Monday.

Ziaur Rahman became military chief after the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on Aug 15, 1975.

Then a coup followed, led by Liberation War sector commander Maj Gen Khaled Mosharraf, which led to Zia's arrest.

A counter-coup led by led by Col Abu Taher and his political group Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal released Zia from house arrest on Nov 7 and eventually brought him to power.

BNP commemorates the event as ‘National Revolution and Solidarity Day’.

The ruling Awami League party rejects that and instead refers to it as ‘Freedom Fighters Killing Day’.

The BNP flag was hoisted at the party's headquarters in Naya Paltan and the chairperson's office in Gulshan Offices at dawn on Monday.

BNP and its affiliates also publishes posters and special supplements to commemorate the anniversary.


Selim, Zafar re-elected as CPB president, gen secy

মঙ্গলবার, ০১ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

01 November 2016 Mujahidul Islam Selim has been unanimously re-elected as president of Communist Party of Bangladesh while Sayed Abu Zafar Ahmed as its general secretary in the party’s 11th congress.

A total of 43 central committee leaders of the party were also elected through secret balloting in the four-day-long congress began at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Friday.

Haidar Akbar Khan Rono, the newly elected presidium member of the party, made the announcement at a press conference at the party’s Puranapaltan headquarters this afternoon.

This is the second time Mujahidul Islam Selim has been elected as the head of the party with a fresh call to his party men to forge a unity against communalism, imperialism and the absence of democracy in the country.

In the press conference, the newly elected CPB leaders expressed their strong condemnation over the recent attack on the people of Hindu community in Brahmanbaria.

A five-member delegation of the party will visit Brahmanbaria tomorrow where religious fanatics vandalised and ransacked at least five temples and over a hundred houses of the Hindus and looted valuables over a feud of a Facebook post on Saturday.

Apart from this, leaders and activists of the party will stage a rally in front of the National Press Club around 4:00pm tomorrow protesting the attack on the Hindu community.


AL indomitable: Ashraful

শনিবার, ২২ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

22 October 2016 Terming Bangladesh Awami League “indomitable”, it’s General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam claimed that no other political party in the world has made as much sacrifices for the welfare of the country as the ruling party.

Jononetri (Sheikh Hasina)” will lead the party as long as she is here but the party will not die even if she is not there to guild it, Ashraful said while addressing 20th National Council of Bangladesh Awami League at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka this morning.

Also READ: AL’s 20th council: 67-yr walk to Suhrawardy Udyan

There can’t be any comparison to Awami League with any other political parties in the world, he said.

READ more: Her finest hour

“Our party, Awami League, is stronger now than any other time (of the past),”  Ashraful added.

Also READ: Eyes on polls

Awami League is the name of an emotion, which has been created through the deaths of thousands of its leaders and activists including Banglabadhu in movements, he said.


‘Jamaat wouldn’t be invited to AL council’

মঙ্গলবার, ১১ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

11 October 2016 Awami League Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said leaders from all political parties except Jamaat-e-Islami will be invited to the party’s national council. “Except Jamaat, we will invite leaders from all political parties including BNP,” he told The Daily Star this afternoon.

ALSO READ: AL plans to bring in fresh blood

The 20th triennial council of the party is scheduled to be held on October 22-23 at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.

Leaders from different political parties of at least 14 countries have already been invited to attend the council, he added.

“Our national council will be more successful and colorful with their participation,” he said.

The Reception sub-committee, headed by Mohammad Nasim, held a meeting at party President Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office today to make the council a success.


Ashraf seeks restoration of Bangladesh-China road links

শনিবার, ০১ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

01 October 2016 Awami League General Secretary and Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam today described Bangladesh-China ties as "historic and empathic" as it was rooted in history while he sought restoration of an old road link for regional benefit with India having an important stake.

"Our relation is as old as the history of ancient Chinese and Indian civilisations date back to and it is more empathic than political in nature . . . the relations continued until date for mutual benefits and economic development," he told a function to mark the 67th anniversary of Chinese democratic revolution.

Syed Ashraf sought restoration of an old Bangladesh and China road link saying it would benefit the regional countries including India.

Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal organised the programme at BMA Auditorium with its General Secretary and former minister Dilip Barua in the chair.

Syed Ashraf said the upcoming visit of the Chinese president to Bangladesh would be a historic event for bilateral ties while Dhaka waited to accord him a warm reception.

Political Councilor to the Chinese Ambassador in Bangladesh Yang Jao Hui, Ganotantri Party's General Secretary Dr Shahadat Hossen and Politburo member of Lutfur Rahman also spoke on the occasion.


BNP scraps 39 ward-level committees in Ctg

সোমবার, ২৬ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬

26 September 2016 BNP today dissolved 39 ward-level committees in Chittagong as tenure of those committees expired at least five years ago.

Badsha Shahadat Hossain, president of newly formed committee of the city BNP unit, made the announcement at a press conference in the port city.

The rest ward committees were not declared dissolved as those remain active though tenures of those have been expired, Badsha said.

However, the BNP city unit formed convening committees of the 39 wards, reports our local correspondent.

Later BNP will hold councils for the ward committees.


Minister Sayedul Hoque dropped from AL's Brahmanbarhia district advisory council

শনিবার, ২৪ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬
24 September 2016 Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul Haque has been dropped from the Brahmanbarhia district advisory council of the Awami League.

District Awami league President RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury said the decision has been taken because Hoque was involved in a controversial nomination during the recent Union Parishad polls.

He said the minister had backed the nomination of Farooq Miah for chairman of Nasirnagar Union Parishad.

"Farooq Miah is the son of Tajul Islam , who is a wartime collaborator of the Pakistan army uring1971 Liberation struggle. Tajul's name figures in the list of Razakars or Pakistani collaborators published by the Gana Jagaran Mancha," Chowdhury said.

MP Muktadir Chowdhury said Hoque finalised the nomination without any consultation with the party leadership in the district.

"He has violated standing instructions of the Awami League leadership," he alleged.

Chowdhury said the minister was also responsible for working to defeat the party candidates at Guniauk and Haripur Union parishads and using police and local administration to harass their supporters.

"He was served a show cause notice with these charges, to which he chose not to reply. So, the district committee decided to remove him from the advisory council.

"Now we will recommend he is sacked as minister and he is not longer allowed to continue as a  primary membership of Awami League ," said Chowdhury.

The minister could not be reached for any comments so far, with his APS Mizanur Rahman saying, "Sir is busy now."


Khaleda leaves Dhaka for Hajj

বুধবার, ০৭ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬

07 September 2016 BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia left Dhaka this afternoon for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj there at the invitation of the Saudi king. She left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a Saudi Airlines flight around 5:15pm, Khaleda’s media wing staff Sayrul Kabir Khan told The Daily Star. BNP standing committee members including Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas, Khaleda’s advisory council members and a good number of leaders and activists of the party went to the airport to see her off.

Khaleda’s adviser Enamul Haque Chowdhury and her personal secretary ABM Abdus Sattar accompanied her.

BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman, who is now living in London for treatment, his wife Dr Zobaida Rahman and his late brother Arafat Rahman Koko’s wife Sharmila Rahman may meet Khaleda Zia during the tour to Saudi Arabia, sources said.

Khaleda is expected to return home on September 22.

The BNP chairperson last visited Saudi Arabia in July, 2013 to perform Umrah.


Shafik Rehman walks out of Kashimpur jail

মঙ্গলবার, ০৬ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬

06 September 2016 Journalist Shafik Rehmanwalked out of Kashimpur jail in Gazipur this afternoon, five months into arrest in a case for his alleged attempts to abduct and murder prime minister's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy. He was freed around 1:00pm, his personal assistant Sajib Onasis confirmed to The Daily Star.

Rehman is expected to get admitted to Birdem hospital for treatment as he is suffering from various complication including high blood pressure and diabetes, Onasis said.

The Supreme Court on August 31 granted bail him for three months or until the charge sheet of the case is submitted. His bail will expire if police submit the charge sheet before three months, the apex court said in its order.

A five-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order after hearing Rehman’s appeal petition seeking bail in the case.

Earlier on June 7, the High Court rejected Rehman’s petition in the same case.

Recently Rehman, former editor of the daily Jaijaidin, filed the appeal with the SC, challenging the judgement of the HC and seeking bail in the case.

Detectives posing as television reporters arrested him on April 16 from his residence.


Notices seek ministers’ explanation on holding posts

শনিবার, ০৩ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬

03 September 2016 Two separate legal notices have been served on Food Minister Qamrul Islam and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq seeking their explanation in 24 hours under what authority they are holding the post of minister as they violated their oath.

Eunus Ali Akond, a Supreme Court lawyer, today sent the notices saying that Quamrul and AKM Mozammel cannot hold the post of minister after the apex court has observed that they have violated their oath.

“Quamrul and Mozammel have to take fresh oath if they want to hold the post of minister,” Akond told The Daily Star.

Eunus said he would file a writ petition with the High Court seeking necessary directives if the two ministers do not respond to the legal notices in 24 hours.

On Thursday, the SC released the full verdict on a contempt of court case saying that ministers Quamrul and Mozammel have violated the oath of office.

"They have acted in violation of law and are in breach of their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the constitution," said the SC on Thursday in its full judgment in the contempt of court case against the two ministers.

According to a constitutional provision, by taking oath, a minister enters his office to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.


Khaleda sued for 'false birthday' celebration

মঙ্গলবার, ৩০ আগস্ট ২০১৬

30 August 2016 BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was sued today for celebrating “false birthday” on the national mourning day, August 15. Gazi Zahirul Islam, former joint general secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), filed the case with the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mazharul Islam.

After the hearing the complaint, the magistrate accepted the charge and asked Khaleda to appear before the court on October 17.


‘Revoking Zia’s Swadhinata Padak will be suicidal’

শুক্রবার, ২৬ আগস্ট ২০১৬

26 August 2016 BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today expressed grave disappointment at the government’s alleged move to revoke the Swadhinata Padak of his party’s founder Ziaur Rahman.

“We are anxious and frustrated over the move. It will be suicidal for the Awami League if the award is revoked,” Fakhrul said while addressing a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office this afternoon.

There will be no time to rectify when Awami League will understand its mistake, Fakhrul said.

In 2003 when BNP-Jamaat alliance was in power, a cabinet committee gave Swadhinata Padak (independence award) to Ziaur Rahman for his contribution in the Liberation War in 1971.

The Padak is being kept at the National Museum.

Two Bangla dailies-- Jugantor and Ittefa—yesterday published reports that the government is mulling to withdraw the Swadhainata Padak that has been given to Ziaur Rahman.

Referring to the reports, Fakhrul said, “We are sure of the government’s plans.”


BNP’s Aman, Aazam step down from posts

বৃহস্পতিবার, ২৫ আগস্ট ২০১৬

25 August 2016 BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s advisers Amanullah Aman and Ahmed Aazam Khan have stepped down from their local posts. Aman stepped down from the post of general secretary of Dhaka district BNP unit while Aazam from president of Tangail district unit.

Last night, they submitted letters to Khaleda. They in March during BNP’s council were made members of BNP chief’s advisory council. Earlier another BNP senior leader Md Shahjahan resigned from Noakhali district BNP unit president post as he was made a vice chairman of the party.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also stepped down from the post of the party’s Thakurgaon district unit president as he was made BNP’s secretary general.

Khaleda earlier announced 502-member central executive committee. BNP in its council that held March 19 amended its charter incorporating a provision that one leader will get only one post.



Arrest order for BNP’s Selima Rahman, 66 others

বুধবার, ১৭ আগস্ট ২০১৬

17 August 2016 A Dhaka court today issued arrest warrants against 67 leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance including BNP leaders Selima Rahman and Barkatullah Bulu in an arson attack case. Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah of Metropolitan Sessions Judges Court passed the order after accepting the charges pressed against 93 accused including BNP vice chairman Selima and 66 others. The court directed the officer-in-charge of Motijheel Police Station to submit a report on October 10 on execution of the arrest warrants.

Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, personal assistant to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, is also facing the arrest warrant in the case.

Twenty-six BNP leaders including MK Anwar, Shawkat Mahmud, Aman Ullah Aman are on bail in the case.

The case was filed over carrying out an arson attack on a bus in February last year during BNP-led 20-party alliance’s anti-government agitation.


Opinion: Will birthday cake gesture yield any result?

মঙ্গলবার, ১৬ আগস্ট ২০১৬

16 August 2016 It would be interesting to watch what results the political overture that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia made yesterday will yield.

For the first time since1995/96, she refrained from observing her birthday this year on August 15, the day Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed in a military putsch that changed the course of Bangladesh’s politics forever.

Her sudden observance of birthday on that tragic day was politically and visually coarse and boorish that one could not help wonder what kind of political massage Khaleda and her party wanted to pass over to its arch rival Awami League.  So mindless was the way in which cakes were cut at midnight just to hurt Bangabandhu’s family especially his daughter Sheikh Hasina, who is now the prime minister, that it made us cringe in disgust.

Yet, Khaleda had started celebrating her birthday on that day deviating from her original ‘birthdays’ on September 5 as her school certificate suggests, August 5 as her marriage certificate reflects and August 19 as per her record of prime ministerial oath.

It was as if, she were welcoming and celebrating the events that led to the tragic incidents in 1975. It was basically to draw and redraw the war line every year. It was to send the message of how fundamentally BNP is opposed to the ideas and politics of Awami League.

Many wiser heads has advised her to stop it, but she would not listen.

Finally this year, she relented on this practice.

However, she or BNP did not say the celebration was cancelled in view of the tragic August 15. Rather, BNP tried to say the celebration was called off in view of the current situation, floods and Khaleda being too mature to cut a cake at this age.

Notwithstanding what the party said, it must be a sign that she has changed her political thinking in view of the grim political reality facing her. Her party is in tatters and out of power for about nine years. One of her sons is dead and the other in exile facing various grave charges. She herself is embroiled in corruption charges.

Khaleda and BNP still have a tall task of mending the thorny fence that divides them from Awami League and Hasina. They have to do a lot of historical corrections.

Even in the midst of all this, her olive branch must have borne some messages. We may wait to see how the message is received and reciprocated from the other camps.


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