BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Friday alleged the current government’ corruption has got international recognition through the sentencing of Bangladeshi MP Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul by a Kuwaiti court in a bribery case.
“This (Papul’s conviction) is a matter of shame for the country. The current government of night-time voting can’t avoid the responsibility for it,” Rizvi said, reports UNB.
He said, “MPs like Papu would not have dared to indulge in reckless corruption without their (govt’s) patronage. The corruption of the current government has got international recognition with the sentencing of an MP of the present parliament in a Kuwaiti court.”
The BNP leader made the remarks at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, reports UNB.
Earlier on Thursday, a Kuwaiti court sentenced Papul and four others to four years in jail on a charge of bribing Kuwaiti officials with millions of dollars to recruit Bangladeshi workers and get contracts for his company.
The court also fined them 1.9 million dinars, reports Kuwait Times. The MP is also an accused in two other cases on charges of human trafficking and money laundering.
Rizvi alleged that though Papul did not have any political background, he has been made an MP in the 11th parliament only because of his huge money.
“Not only that, but also his wife has been made an MP. Depoliticisation has taken place as politics has been spoiled and criminalised in this way by Awami league,” he observed.
The BNP leader said the Anti-Corruption Commission did not take proper action against Papul's wife, daughter and sister-in-law despite having specific evidence about their corruption of millions of taka.
Even, he said, they were given bail by the lower court at the ‘behest’ of the government.”
Corruption turned epidemic
About the fresh report of the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2020, Rizvi said Bangladesh has been placed at the 12th spot from the bottom, two notches up from the previous index.
He said the report cites widespread corruption in Bangladesh's health sector amid the coronavirus pandemic as one of the reasons behind the rise in corruption in the country. “We’ve long been saying this repeatedly earlier.”
The BNP leader alleged that corruption has turned epidemic in the country for lack of democracy in the country.
Chattogram city polls
Rizvi said though the elections to Chattogram City Corporations were held using the 'digital machine of bote robbery', EVMs, the returning officer took 10 hours to announce the results due to 'vote robbery'.
He alleged that the returning officers announced the results that were sent by "the Prime Minister from Gonobhaban at 1:45am".
“It shouldn’t take more than one or two hours to announce the results of the elections that were held using the EVMs. After the vote robbery, it took a long time to settle the count and share of the votes. After a lot of calculations, they have shown that only 22 per cent of the votes have been cast in the elections,” the BNP leader observed.
He said 78 per cent voters of the port city turned down the elections by refraining from going to polling stations. "This rejection is against the tyrannical rule and exploitation of the ruling party cadres and the backbone-less and subservient Election Commission. The pictures of vote robbery and vote-rigging have been exposed once again to people through the Chattogram city elections.”