Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said saving power and fuel oil does not mean that there had been looting in the sector.
“Rather, BNP plundered during their regime. We after coming to power stopped that indiscriminate looting and developed the country,” she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating a blood donation programme arranged by the Bangladesh Krishak League in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32. She joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Krishak League arranged the programme and discussion as part of the month-long programme of Awami League and its associate organizations to mark the National Mourning Day commemorating the martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Hasina slammed the BNP for staging hurricane lamp protest against government's power saving measures.
"Hand them hurricane lamps instead, and show them the door," she said.
The PM said that all countries across the globe have been gone for austerity in power and fuel oil in the wake of worldwide crisis due to Russia-Ukraine war as the entire world including the developed countries are in hardship.
“All have to keep that in their mind. When the developed countries are facing serious troubles, we have taken pre-cautionary measurers to avoid falling in any danger in the coming days,” she said.
"Keeping that in mind we are maintaining austerity," she added.
She said that the present AL government upgraded the power sector with the capability of producing 24,000MW from only 3500MW.
“It was not possible if there were any looting here. When there is looting in any sector, it shrinks,” she said.
Hasina, also the ruling AL chief, said that those who reduced the electricity production from 4300MW to 3000MW were engaged in looting.
“And those who have been able to increase the production they utilise every penny for the betterment,” she added.
She said her government has taken all necessary measures keeping in mind the possible hardship due to Ukraine war so that the common people do not have to suffer.
She mentioned that the BNP and its allies destroyed the spirit and ideology of the nation on what Bangladesh emerged through huge sacrifice and long struggle under the leadership of Bangabandhu.
Pointing out misrules of the regimes after 1975, the prime minister said, Zia snatched the voting rights of the people forming a party by staying in the state power illegally and gave curfew democracy instead.
The people had no rights during the tenure of military dictator Zia and so was during the Ershad regime, she said.
The PM said BNP leaders should not talk about election as the BNP staged fake voting at Magura, Mirpur and in Dhaka-10 constituency in the past.
In her speech, the Awami League President highlighted long struggles and sacrifices of the Father of the Nation since 1948 for the cause of the rights of mother tongue and establish independent Bangladesh.
Talking about the August 15 massacre, Hasina, the eldest child of Bangabandhu, in an emotion-chocked voice said that her father, mother and brothers were killed by the Bangalees for whom her father sacrificed his whole life.
“I never find the answer of this question, how the Bangalees could do such kind of hypocrisy and dishonesty?” she wondered.
She mentioned that just before 1975 there were false propaganda against Bangabandhu and his family members, and Awami League leaders.
The prime minister said that her party had been able to restore democracy in the country through long movement and struggle.
“If real democracy prevails in a country then fate of the people changes totally. Today’s Bangladesh is the example of that," she said.
She said the AL grew from the mass people and its leaders and activists are ready to sacrifice for the nation. So when this party comes to power and runs the government with ideology and policy then the country must develop, she added.
“The present Bangladesh is the great example of that,” she said.
She said that since assuming office in 2009 the government has been working tirelessly for improving the living standard of the people.
Hasina asked the Krishak League leaders and workers to continue to work following Bangabandhu’s ideology and build a hunger-and-poverty-free prosperous Bangladesh.
She mentioned that Bangabandhu was killed at a time when the nation was progressing fast towards socio-economic development under his dynamic leadership after the independence.
She thanked Krishak League for arranging the blood donation programme programme aimed at saving the life of the critical patients.
Awami League presidium member Matia Chowdhury, Presidium member and Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, Joint Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Agriculture Secretary Faridunnanahar Laily, Organising Secretary Advocate Afzal Hossain and Office Secretary Barrister Biplob Barua also spoke at the programme.
Krishak League President Krishibid Samir Chanda presided over the function, while its General Secretary Umme Kulsum Smiriti, spoke, among others.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of the martyrs of August 15 massacre.