Awami League's rally in Rajshahi on Sunday was 12 to 14 times bigger than BNP's, said Information and Broadcasting Minister and Joint General Secretary of Awami League Dr. Hasan Mahmud. He said this in response to a question from journalists after exchanging views with the newly elected management council of the National Press Club in the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat on Monday afternoon.
Dr. Hasan said, "Actually, there was an extraordinary meeting on Sunday." The entire city of Rajshahi turned into a public meeting. There were at least 10-12 times the number of people outside the venue of the meeting. BNPO also held a rally there. It is difficult to estimate how many times bigger than them.
However, it is 12-14 times bigger than BNP's rally. The Prime Minister also watched the rally from the sky. The enthusiasm and eagerness I saw in people all over the city to go to the rally was incredible. The massive support of the people towards the Prime Minister and his party has been proved in this public meeting.
When asked about BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's comment, 'We still have to struggle for voting rights, justice', the minister said, 'I would strongly request Mister Fakhrul to look at his own face in the mirror, to see the face of the party as well. After Bangabandhu was killed, BNP founder Ziaur Rahman stopped the Bangabandhu assassination trial by converting the Indemnity Ordinance into law. There was not only justice, but justice was stopped. Four national leaders were killed inside the jail, the trial was also stopped.'
Referring to 'Ziaur Rahman who started the violation of human rights in this country', Hasan Mahmud said, 'Ziaur Rahman was associated with the assassination of Bangabandhu and became the army chief by seizing power over Bangabandhu's body. Ziaur Rahman could have become the army chief if the army officers who killed Bangabandhu and seized power were not very loyal to them. Today it is as clear as daylight, proven, true. And Ziaur Rahman hanged thousands of army officers without trial to consolidate his power.
Many have been hanged, judgments have been passed after execution. Today, the silent cries of 'Mayer Kanna', the organization of the families of those victims, are floating in the air and have reached the ears of foreign diplomats.
The Information Minister said, "If you talk about the right to vote - during Ziaur Rahman's time, Sattar Saheb's time, Khaleda Zia's time, Ershad Saheb's time, the slogan was '10 motorbikes, 20 gangsters, elections are handled'." They started that bad culture. The 15 February 1996 elections were conducted by the BNP. They could not stay in power for more than a month. So he will get the answer when he sees his own face in the mirror.
This joint general secretary of Awami League also said, 'The BNP leaders are the ones who ordered the attacks that killed people by throwing petrol bombs on people in 2013, 14, 15. Mirza Fakhrul is also one of those commanders. It is surprising to the people that they are still walking around after killing people by throwing petrol bombs like this.
Earlier, the newly elected leaders of the National Press Club extended warm greetings to the Information Minister. Minister Hasan congratulated them and said that the National Press Club has been consistently conducting elections in a very transparent, beautiful environment, practicing democratic norms. I think this election of National Press Club will play a role in integrating and spreading democratic practices at all levels.
President Farida Yasmin, chaired by Press Club General Secretary Shyamal Dutta, raised the demands of renaming the metro rail station adjacent to the Secretariat-National Press Club as 'National Press Club Station', the proposed reform of the Media Workers Act, cooperation in the construction of the 21-storey building of the National Press Club and assistance to the Press Club Journalist Fund.
The Information Minister said that he had discussions with the Prime Minister regarding the construction of the 21-storey building of the Press Club and with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Media Workers Act. Discussion with the relevant ministry regarding the naming of the metrorail station and assured cooperation to strengthen the press club fund. Hasan Mahmud.
Senior Vice President Hasan Hafiz, Vice President Rezwanul Haque Raja, Joint Secretary Ayub Bhuiyan and Ashraf Ali, Treasurer Shahed Chowdhury, Members Farid Hossain, Kazi Rawnak Hossain, Shahnaz Siddiqui Soma, Kalyan Saha, Shahnaz Begum Poli, Syed Abdal Ahmad, Julhas Alam, Bakhtiar Rana, Mohammad Momin Hussain and Shimant Khokon attended the meeting.