No need of caretaker system as elections under present govt were fair: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday iterated in Parliament that there is no necessity of the caretaker government as different types of elections under the present government were held neutrally in free, fair and acceptable manner.

The Election Commission conducted the elections efficiently and the government had provided all sorts of assistance to make the election commission stronger in carrying out its tasks, she said in her winding up speech at the end of the 12th session of the 9th Parliament.

Recalling their previous demand to establish the caretaker government, the Leader of the House said that at that time the results of the elections were often changed. “That’s why we demanded the caretaker government system.”

In this connection, she mentioned the Magura election and other byelections held under the BNP government during its 1991-96 tenure.

Hasina said that BNP had introduced the caretaker government system in a `faulty’ parliament that came through a voter-less election on 15th February 1996. “At that Parliament, Bangtabandhu’s killer, Rashid was made the opposition leader in the House.”

She also said that by that faulty system of the caretaker government the judiciary was pushed at the verge of the destruction. “This was not the end, there were some incidents under each caretaker government system.”

The premier mentioned that during their 2001-2006 tenure, the BNP-Jamaat alliance government “politicized the judiciary and put 1.23 crore fake voters in the voter list.”

Referring to the incidents under the last caretaker government, she said there was panic among all in the country. “They also put me and the opposition leader in jail, how did she forget that?”

Hasina said that the present government has amended the constitution as per the verdict of the Supreme High Court. “We want to ensure the rights of the mass people and our politics is to ensure the empowerment of the common people.”

About the huge population of the country, she said that her government never thought that this population as a burden for the country. “Apart from our congenial policy for foreign investment, the skilled labour force of the country is another main reason that investments are coming.”

The Prime Minister said that a mother never thinks his children to be a burden, whatever their number. “I also think about the population in such motherly way. I always think how I could provide all facilities to make them good citizen.”

Talking about the murder of journalist couple Sagar and Runi, she said these two journalists used to work with her. “The 48-hour ultimatum of the Home Minister was to create pressure on the police.”

In this connection, she mentioned that during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government a total of “16 journalists were killed” across the country.

About the recent speeches of some opposition lawmakers in the Parliament, Hasina said that their main aim is to protect their salaries and wages. “They have done it. Despite their irresponsible speeches I want to see them in the parliament… let them say whatever they want.”

Referring to the situation under the BNP-Jamaat alliance government during 2001-06, she said militancy and terrorism raised their ugly head in the country at that time. “After assuming power we tackled those elements with iron hand.”

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