30 April 2017, Sun, 10:07

Minister threatens ruling party men

‘Without AL in power, you’ll have to flee with your money

Awami League general secretary and the minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader warned leaders and workers of the party that power does not last long and so they shouldn’t misuse power. He said, “Without Awami League in power, you’ll have to flee with your money. Shouldn’t you imagine the situation?…. You’ll have to hide with the money you have made now.”

Obaidul Quader was speaking as chief guest at the Chittagong city AL delegate conference. The meeting was held on Saturday from 10:15am till 2:30pm at a community centre in the city’s Panchlaish area. AL Chittagong city president ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury presided over the meeting moderated by city AL general secretary and city mayor AZM Nasir Uddin.

The grassroots leaders revealed the organisational state of the party at the meeting, though they did not make mention of any rifts or feuds. All the grassroots leaders had to give their statements in writing to the city AL’s publicity and publications secretary. At one point when the name of the member of parliament of Patenga-Halishahar, MA Latif, was mentioned, the grassroots leaders began yelling.

Obaidul Quader expressed satisfaction that differences between ABM Mohiuddin and Nasir Uddin had been cleared up. He said, “You have achieved the impossible. On the day that Bangabandhu’s daughter was going to Bhutan, I noticed how her face lit up when at the airport she saw a picture in the newspapers of you two standing together. If all is well in Chittagong, we are all well. If Chittagong is united, the entire Bangladesh will remain united.”

Quader said, “I asked senior leader Mohiuddin to keep the party united. Build Awami League up as a well-organised party.”

Addressing the two top AL leaders of Chittagong, Obaidul Quader said, “Whatever has happened is now in the past. We do not want to move towards any rift. I tell Nasir that he is like a son to Mohiuddin. If Nasir does anything wrong, Mohiuddin can go to his house and tell him off. He has the right. Can we speak about our inside matters publicly? No one can remain patient. There should have been patience.”

Cautioning against sly persons, Quader said, “I am a minister and I don’t do wrong. But if people beside me do wrong, I have to take the responsibility.”

Concerning relations with Hefazat-e-Islam, Quader said, “We have not made any deal with Hefazat. We have brought an education system to the mainstream. There are 70 thousand Qawmi educational institutions with 14 lakh students. They have no identity or future. There is no guarantee that they will get jobs. That is why they have been brought into the mainstream.”

Addressing the meeting, public works minister Mosharraf Hossain said, “We will fix the differences within the party, but there is one and a half years left for the election. If we resolve all differences and work together, no one can stop us from winning.”

Joint general secretary Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif said the delegate conference proved that no one would be able to defeat AL. It would be the grassroots leaders that would bring AL to power again.

Publicity and publications secretary Hasan Mahmud said there is no alternative to unity and solidarity. “Chittagong city Awami League has proven that today.”