Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud said the people feel that Khaleda Zia should be sent to jail again because of BNP's failure to realise the generosity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He made the comment in response to a question from reporters after inaugurating the 27th founding anniversary program of Dhaka Reporters Unity-DRU at Segunbagicha in the capital on Thursday afternoon.
He said, "I saw on Facebook a while ago that Begum Khaleda Zia and Mirza Fakhrul were swimming across the Padma River. This means that many people think that since they opposed the Padma Bridge, conspired against the bridge, bragged that the Awami League government could not do it, they should swim across the Padma, and not use the bridge.”
“Sheikh Hasina has built this Padma bridge for all people, but those who opposed it should apologise. Today BNP is protesting but Begum Khaleda Zia has tried to assassinate the Prime Minister. The grenade attack on August 21 is proof of that. Despite the conviction of Khaleda Zia, many are now questioning the generosity shown by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in keeping her out of jail for two years,” he said.
Earlier, the Information Minister inaugurated the founding anniversary program by hoisting the national flag and the flag of DRU President at the premises of Dhaka Reporters Unity. The Minister joined the colorful rally at the end of the speech by flying pigeons and balloons. Prominent journalist leaders including National Press Club President Farida Yasmin were present on the occasion under the chairmanship of DRU President Nazrul Islam Mithu and General Secretary Nurul Islam Hasib.
In his speech, Hasan Mahmud said, "Dhaka Reporters' Unity has remained united, away from politics, not divided politically in the course of 27 years, which I think is a great achievement. I hope Dhaka Reporters Unity will remain united even after the next 50 years.” The minister said, "The fourth pillar of the state, if the media works properly, the state develops, the society develops and benefits. With that in mind, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken many steps for the development of media. In the last 13 and a half years, mass media has developed tremendously in Bangladesh.”
Today, 13 years ago, there were 10 television channels, now there are about 38 private television channels. A few more are coming to air. There were no private radios, now there are more than 12 FM radios and 18 community radios. The number of newspapers has increased from 450 to 1250. The number of online media outlets is a matter of scrutiny, but we have received more than 5,000 applications for registration. We are working for the development of media. The way the media in Bangladesh works independently, the way the media in Bangladesh has developed is an example for many developing countries, he added.
"I am always by your side, I was by your side when I was not a minister, now I am by your side as a minister,” he said. In his congratulatory address, DRU President Nazrul Islam Mithu said, "As long as Bangladesh exists, Dhaka Reporters' Unity will continue to play a leading role in the country's quest for democracy."