PM rules out food crisis again
KHALIAJURI (Netrokona), May 18: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday reiterated that there will be no food crisis in the country despite the flash flood in northeastern districts.
"No person will suffer for lack of food...I won't tolerate it. We've adequate stock of food. As the crops were damaged in the flood, we'll procure food from abroad, if needed ... there'll be no food crisis," she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a public rally at Khaliajuri Degree College ground here in the morning after distributing rice and cash money among the flashflood-hit people of the upazila.
She said the government has been distributing relief goods among the flood-hit people and it would continue. "I do politics for the common people and I'm the daughter of the Father of the Nation ... I could assure you that no one will be there without food," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry is distributing VGF and VGD rice among the flood-hit people, while the Food Ministry is providing rice at Tk 10 per KG apart from continuing OMS programme.
The Prime Minister said the Agriculture Ministry is distributing agri-inputs among the farmers to help them recoup their losses.
Criticising BNP, the Prime Minister said the BNP government had come to power with an aim to annihilate Awami League, make people penniless and change the country's history.
"The BNP couldn't develop the country. It comes to power for looting and harming people ... what type of politics it is?" she asked.
Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said the BNP showed its failure in every sector of the country when it was in power.
She said the Awami League government handed over power after 2001 election by making the country self-reliant in food. "But it was BNP that had turned Bangladesh into a food-deficit country again."
Referring to the rampage and atrocities unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat, the Prime Minister said they killed 231 innocent people and crippled over 3,224 others through fire-terrorism in the name of a movement in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
She said the people of Netrakona did not forget the terrorist and militant acts of BNP leader and former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.
"His works were only looting, corruption, terrorism, militancy and torturing people ... what an inhuman repression he had inflicted on the people in his area at the directive of Khaleda Zia," she said.
Hasina said 12 leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies were killed by the BNP terrorists in Netrakona from 2001 to 2006. "The BNP-Jamaat cadres vandalised and torched houses and business establishments of the Awami League leaders and workers."
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Water R sources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Food Minister Quamrul Islam and local MP Rebeka Momin also spoke on the occasion. AL Joint Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif and Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy were also present.
Later, the Prime Minister went to Ballavpur village under Khaliajuri upazila by a speedboat and distributed rice and cash among the flood-stricken people there.
On return from Ballavpur, Hasina held a meeting with public representatives, the government officials and local elite at Khaliajuri Upazila Health Complex.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister was apprised that there is no crisis of food in the upazila despite the flashflood and the law and order situation is well in the upazila.
Hasina directed the officials concerned to introduce waterbuses and set up residential schools so that study of the children of the haor area is not hampered in any way.
She also directed the officials to take steps for dredging rivers and canals of the haor areas to maintain normal flow of water. —UNB