Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim has said the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) used to unofficially deny 7 March but now the party is denying it officially by distorting history.
Claiming that the BNP's founder Ziaur Rahman destroyed 98% of the politics of the country, Rezaul said, "If Ziaur Rahman were alive he would have to face trial."
"The dirty politics of distorting history will throw the BNP into the dustbin of history. It will never be able to get out of there," he added.
The fisheries minister was addressing a discussion entitled "Conspiracy to Distort History Again" organised by Sampriti Bangladesh at Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah Hall of the National Press Club on Saturday.
BNP, for the first time in its history, officially observed 7 March this year, where BNP leaders said Bangabandhu's 7 March speech did not include the declaration of independence, Rezaul mentioned.
At the programme, BNP leaders said had Ziaur Rahman not declared independence, the people of this country would not have gone to the war, he said, adding, "This is a distortion of history by BNP leaders.
"In reality, Bangalees started dreaming of independence from 7 March, 1971. The four lines of this speech are enough to inspire the Bangalee nation to demand independence," he continued.
Speaking on the occasion, retired justice Shamshuuddin Chowdhury Manik said Zia was a war criminal. "It is not unknown what he did on 25 and 26 March. He shot and killed many people in those two days," he said.
"On 27 March, Zia was influenced to read out the speech. He did not want to read it out. Later, he left for India from where he used to send messages to Pakistanis," he added.
State Minister for Information Murad Hasan, former president of National Press Club Shafiqur Rahman, Convener of Sampriti Bangladesh Piyush Bandyopadhyay, its Member Secretary Professor Dr Mamun Al Mahtab Swapnil, Former Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Professor Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan, Professor Biman Chandra Barua of Dhaka University, and journalist Ali Habib, among others, also took part in the discussion.