Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has feared that, like that of 2007, a conspiracy is on to install non-elected government in Bangladesh by vested quarters.
In a national address marking completion of four years of her government, Ms. Hasina, on Friday, alleged that those who were out to execute the so-called ‘minus two formula’ to see both Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina exiled were “still active”. She urged the people to remain alert to prevent any quarter from stripping people of their Constitutional right to vote.
The national address was delivered on January 11, marking the date in 2007 when a military backed caretaker government was installed after proclamation of the state of emergency by the then president Iajuddin Ahmed.
Ms. Hasina was originally scheduled to deliver the speech on January 6, the day her government assumed power in 2009. But it was re-scheduled on January 11, commonly known in Bangladesh as ‘1/11’.
Ms. Hasina, whose government is facing a stiff street agitation, mainly orchestrated by the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami, feared that a situation like the one of Jan 11, 2007 might be created once again. Without elaborating, she said , “Those who had wanted to introduce the minus two formula are still active. They are making moves often to rise again.”
The non-elected government installed on Jan 11, 2007 stayed in the power for two years, a period when many top political leaders, including chiefs of both Awami League and BNP, Ms. Hasina and Khaleda Zia, were put behind the bars on corruption charges. However, they were eventually released and the Hasina-led Grand Alliance assumed office through an election held on Dec 29, 2008.
Critical of the 1/11 government, Ms. Hasina said it deployed army across the country and people were denied their fundamental rights. It was to be in power for three months but stuck for two years .
Addressing the nation, Ms. Hasina also urged the people to give her party, Awami League, another chance to run the country for continuation of the economic growth. She also sought cooperation of the countrymen in completing the war crimes trial, and urged the BNP not to try to save the war criminals.