May 25, 2024, 8:31 pm

‘If they oust me, who will take my place?’

  • Update Time : Thursday, May 2, 2024
  • 14 Time View

TDS Desk:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked leftist political leaders staging movements against her rule in Bangladesh about who would replace her if her government was ousted.

The premier posed the question in response to a query from a journalist during a press briefing on Thursday regarding her experience of her recent Thailand visit.

“The extreme leftists and extreme rightist groups in the country have formed a coalition and the two poles together are trying to topple the government – you said that two days ago. What message did you want to send to the nation?” a senior journalist asked Hasina.

“The leftists have turned ninety degrees,” Hasina said. “I want to ask you a question – Those [leaders] we believe to be leftists, are always very progressive and people-oriented groups. My question is, when they oust me, who will replace me? Have they determined it yet? Who will take on the responsibility of working for the country? Who do they want to bring to power?”

She said it was completely unclear who would replace her and that was why leftist leaders have not received popular support.

“Yes, they are continuing their movement. Some of them are continuing to stage a movement while living abroad. Since we made a Digital Bangladesh, they are taking advantage of it by organising an online movement. We can raise questions about that. Whoever wants to stage a movement, let them do it. We aren’t preventing anyone.”

To quell the anti-government movement, the government can follow the US’s strategy, the prime minister said. “I think it’ll be good if we tell our police force to follow the US police’s lead on how to suppress a movement. They may follow the US police.”

“This is because we always asked the police to be patient. Do you remember Oct 28 in 2023? I asked the police to be patient and when they did, they [the opposition] beat them to death. The protesters also attacked the hospitals and torched vehicles. Hence, our police can now follow the US police. I think the journalists will support me.”

The Awami League chief said the 2024 election was the best one in the history of Bangladesh. They held the election by upholding people’s rights, she said. ”Take a look at all of the elections in Bangladesh after 1975. Think about the yes/no vote in 1977. You’ll see that the Jan 7, 2024 election was the most free and fair one and ensured people’s right to vote.”

The Awami League had a long-term goal to establish democracy in Bangladesh and they have always fought to do so, she said. “We must not forget that.” (Source: bdnews)

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