Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday said that it was unthinkable to celebrate the birth centenary of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman without representation of India.
While speaking at a press briefing on contemporary issues at his office, Obaidul Quader, also road, transport and bridges minister, said that the government had invited India to join the Mujib Year celebrations as the country was the prime ally of Bangladesh during the war of independence in 1971.
Terming the ongoing turmoil over citizenship law in India an internal issue, Obaidul said that refraining from inviting Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to join the birth centenary programme of Sheikh Mujib would be an act of ingratitude.
‘We did not consider the ongoing internal unrest and conflict in India while inviting our neighbour. India was our main ally during the liberation war,’ he said.
Obaidul said that the government could not think that the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujib would be celebrated without participation of India.
‘India had arranged arms and training for us. After all, the joint command of the Allied Force and Mukti Bahini had ensured our victory,’ he said.
Replying to a question about the cases of Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia, Obaidul said that it did not matter whether she was sued for swindling Tk 200 crore or Tk 2 crore.
‘We have to see whether there was corruption or not,’ he said.
The Anti-Corruption Commission is an independent agency and it filed graft cases against Khaleda Zia, he said.
Responding to another query, the minister said that the construction works of Dhaka-Bhanga Expressway was progressing fast.
‘It is urgent to open the Dhaka-Bhanga Expressway before the start of ‘Mujib Year’ celebration as many guests will visit the grave of Bangabandhu in Tungipara on the occasion of his birth centenary,’ he said.
Asked about government’s preparations about coronavirus, he said that the virus was spreading to different countries and in such situation, it could not be said that Bangladesh would not be affected.
‘Bangladesh government is very serious about the issue, and there is no lack of preparation on the part of the government,’ he said.
About the ninth wage board for journalists, he said that both media owners and journalists should consider each other to implement the latest wage board.