People's participation being increased in the polls is a positive thing for democracy, says the minister
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said the local government elections strengthen the pillars of democracy at the grassroots, increase scopes of accountability and thus augments development activities at a marginal level.
He made the remark at a press conference on contemporary issues at his official residence in Dhaka.
Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina always puts emphasis on local government elections.
Union Parishad (UP) and Municipally polls were held in a peaceful manner on Monday, apart from one or two stray incidents while people's participation in the polls has increased, which is a positive thing for democracy, he added.
The minister said the government has been extending all-out cooperation to the Election Commission (EC) in holding elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner as per the constitution.
He hoped the EC would take further effective and tougher measures to maintain law and order during the next phase of elections.
Quader said it seems from BNP's comments that the party is the sole bearer and vanguard of democracy and they are also the sole agent of democracy.
But BNP has forgotten its own history of killing democracy by themselves and their evil attempts of creating impediments in every step to the current progression of democracy under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.
The Awami League general secretary said though BNP always talks about democracy and people's rights, it is clearly maintaining double-standard by not participating in polls.
BNP’s secretary-general didn't join parliament after being elected but always talks about people's rights, which makes clear that there is no similarity between their talks and their acts, he added.
He also said BNP practices a double-standard policy which has created voters' mistrust in their candidates. “Sensing this, BNP moved away from elections to avoid massive defeat, which actually hinders the democratic process.”
BNP has now been stuck in the trap of mistrust due to the reckless acts and attitude of top leaders of the party while making excessive strategies against the government, he added.
He further said BNP is being submersed under deeper crisis due to the party's negative politics which is being controlled through “remote-control system” from a long distance.
About seeking bank account details of journalists, Quader said the home minister and the information minister have addressed the matter as seeking bank account details has created anguish in the journalist community.
The minister said the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina believes in freedom of the press and free flow of information.
The premier always stays beside journalists and others concerned about their weal and woes during the coronavirus crisis and different other periods and she will do that in the coming days as well, he added.
Mentioning that the BNP government's tenure was the dark period for mass media, he said many journalists were killed at that time. “Those whose hands were drenched with blood of journalists are now shading crocodile tears for media personnel.”