Monday, April 10th, 2023

BNP’s aversion to polls is tantamount to disinclination to democracy: Hasan

Published 11:33 pm | April 10, 2023

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Online desk : Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Hasan Mahmud on Monday said running away from polls is not good for BNP and the election aversion of the party is tantamount to disinclination to democracy.

“We want all political parties including BNP to participate at all elections including city corporations polls. It is their own decision whether any political party would take part in the polls or not. But, BNP has always vacillated over the polls. They took part in some city corporations polls while the party didn’t take part in other city polls. This confusion over the polls has put the party into a difficult situation,” he said.

The minister told reporters while replying to a query at the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat in the capital.

Hasan said BNP could have participated in the city polls as part of their movements and it would have been good for them. And they could have verified their popularity, he added.

He said, “You all saw how the Cumilla city polls were competitive. The Election Commission (EC) has already ensured that the city polls will be held in a fair and neutral manner. The government has always assisted the commission. So, it will be good for BNP and the democracy as well if the party decides to take part in the polls.”

Replying to another query over the freedom of mass media, the minister said in India, PIB has been given the power to check which news is correct and which news is not correct. When the government would say that this news is not correct, the news broadcaster will have to remove it on his own responsibility and if not removed, legal action will be taken, he added.

But, such initiative has not been taken in the country (Bangladesh), he said, adding, the media in Bangladesh works much more freely than neighbouring India, enjoys freedom.

The minister said the tax office in India recently searched the BBC office for several days. But, no one from the tax office of Bangladesh has visited any newspaper or television channel. They didn’t visit the Prothom Alo office yet also, he added.

However, he said, a recent report of Prothom Alo has created a stir. The report has definitely undermined freedom, sovereignty and that’s why the media has removed the report, he added.

He said human chains were formed in different places in the country protesting the report. Even for the first time, all of the country’s journalist organizations have issued a statement against a newspaper report, he added.

But, it is regrettably true that the media has not admitted its mistake till now, said Hasan.

Replying to another query over controlling the commodities prices, the minister said some dishonest businessmen increase the prices of essentials during Ramadan, Eid, puja and other festivals. There were also the same inactions, but due to multifaceted action of the government, consumer rights organizations and other organizations including FBCCI the price of some products have decreased.

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