PM on Padma Bridge: A befitting reply to 'conspirators'

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on October 14 said by constructing the Padma Bridge the government would give a befitting reply to those who are trying to tarnish the country's image and obstruct its development. She made the comment while addressing a rally in Munshiganj after unveiling the name plaque of the bridge and Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project, UNB reported. The PM also saw the work of the bridge on the Mawa side, inspected the progress of the Dhaka-Mawa and Pachchar-Bhanga parts of the N-8 Highway and inaugurated the construction of the rail link on the Mawa end.

Zafrullah sorry for comments on army chief

Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury on October 13 apologised for his remarks on Army Chief Gen Aziz Ahmed at a TV programme. "I carelessly presented wrong information about current Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed during a discussion at Somoy TV's talk show on October 9. I sincerely apologise for the improper statement and wrong choice of words," he said. Zafrullah said he had no aim to defame the army chief. "I don't have any such intention either." In a statement, the defence force said the comment affected every military personnel's morale, the force's solidarity and extremely belittled the army's top position.

Rift again at EC meeting

An election commissioner on October 15 walked out of the election preparatory meeting for what he said was not being allowed to speak on how to hold the 11th parliamentary polls in a free, fair, and inclusive manner. Mahbub Talukder also submitted a "note of dissent" before leaving the Election Commission meeting, held at the Nirbachon Bhaban in the capital's Agargaon with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair. "I was not allowed to place my proposals -- aimed at holding the 11th national election in a free, fair, impartial and participatory manner -- at the Election Commission meeting," Mahbub told reporters after the meeting.

Oikyafront looks for expansion

The Jatiya Oikyafront, formed recently with the BNP and several other parties, now wants to expand by including more partners from the BNP-led 20-party alliance. Senior leaders of the Oikyafront are now working on it in the light of a proposal made by the BNP, sources in the platform said. According to the proposal, four components of the 20-party alliance -- Liberal Democratic Party, Bangladesh Kalyan Party, Bangladesh Jatiya Party, and Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar-led faction) -- may be invited to join the Oikyafront soon, they added. A senior BNP leader is in communication with the leaders of left-leaning political parties, urging them to take to the streets with a similar demand for a free and fair election under a non-partisan interim government.

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