Information Minister Hasan Mahmud has said there were both domestic and international conspiracies surrounding the construction of the Padma Bridge.
"Bangladeshi accomplices of international conspiratorial rings have protested against the government on many occasions. Though not a single taka was disbursed for the Padma bridge, corruption was alleged. How can there be corruption when money is not disbursed?" said Hasan Mahmud. He was speaking as the chief guest at an event held to protest against the vandalism on the sculpture of Bangabandhu, and to unveil a special memoir to mark Mujib Year. The event was organised on Sunday by Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote at the National Press Club.
"The era of conspiracies started after we formed the government in 2008 with the people's verdict. The BDR mutiny took place as part of that conspiracy. Other conspiracies have been consistently brewing for the last 12 years to remove this government from power. Begum Khaleda Zia declared she would not allow the country to be stable for even a single day," he added.
Protesting against the vandalism of the Bangabandhu's sculpture, he said, "Today a new conspiracy has started. There have been sculptures in this region for hundreds of years. Our country has sculptures from the Mughal period. Sculptures were installed in many parts of the country after independence. Sculptures of political leaders are seen throughout Bangladesh, but no protests were heard at that time. But Bangabandhu's sculpture has suddenly become a topic of controversy."
He referred to a museum of sculptures in Saudi Arabia. There are sculptures of animals on the streets of Saudi Arabia. There are even sculptures depicting the likeness of the Saudi king. Neither the Imam nor the Grand Muftis of Mecca and Medina have ever questioned any of it.
"Are our religious leaders wiser than the Imams of Mecca and Medina? Do they understand the religion better? We must be careful about them. This country belongs to Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians. Everyone has contributed to the birth of the nation. So, spreading religious vitriol is tantamount to violating the Constitution and taking a stand against the state," he said further.
The minister unveiled the memoir and inaugurated the ceremony in which distinguished artists were recognized.
President of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote Falguni Hamid presided over the event.
Among others, Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Secretary Babu Sujit Roy Nandi; Dhaka Metropolitan South Awami League Cultural Secretary Abdul Matin Bhuiyan; Member Shahe Alam Murad; General Secretary of the Jote Habibur Rahman Habib; Joint General Secretary Amin Ara Chowdhury; and Presidium Member Ashraful Hasan Ashu were present on the occasion among others.