People don’t side with a corrupt person: PM

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Chittagong, Mar 21: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today accused BNP of disrespecting justice system over its leader Begum Khaleda Zia’s conviction on graft charges but feared the attitude to dwindle further the party’s public support.“People do not side with a corrupt person,” she said in an apparent reference to Begum Zia while addressing a huge public rally at this afternoon in Patiya on the outskirts of the port city, BSS reported.

Sheikh Hasina said the BNP snatched public property and embezzled orphans’ money on one hand but when the country’s legal system took punitive actions against their leader, the party was now trying to wage a campaign against the court verdict.

“They are issuing threats and staging movement asking why Khaleda Zia was punished . . . but the people are not with any corrupt person while they do not support terrorism and militancy either,” the premier said.

BNP, she said, by character does not want to abide by the laws and rules.

Awami League units of the Chittagong city and north and south districts jointly organized the rally at Patiya Government College and Adarsha School Ground with south district unit president Moslem Uddin Ahmed in the chair.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said Begum Zia was tried and punished in a case filed during the rule of her three beloved persons – “Iazuddin, Fakruddin and Moinuddin”, the key figures of the past interim regime.

She said the statutory Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lodged the case while the court pronounced the judgment an apparent reference to a fact that her government had no role in the process.

The premier also accused Begum Zia of blatantly defying a stern Quranic directive against snatching orphans share of property and assets.

“But not abiding by the directive, the BNP leader and her sons embezzled the money that came for the orphans . . . the orphans did not get a single taka from the (Zia Orphanage) Trust,” she said.

AL presidium member Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, general secretary Obaidul Quader, publicity and publication secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud, state minister for land Saifuzzaman Chowdhury Javed, city AL’s acting president Mahtabuddin Chowdhury and lawmaker Shamsul Haque Chowdhury spoke at the rally, among others.