Dhaka, 10 Feb, Abnews: Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia herself and her "experienced lawyers" are responsible for the verdict in a graft case ahead of the next parliament election as she delayed the judicial procedure on various excuses.
"If Begum Zia appeared before the court regularly, the verdict would have been delivered much ago," he told newsmen after visiting a rapid bus transit project on Bhogra bypass here.
Quader, also Awami League General Secretary, said Khaleda Zia herself delayed the judicial process of the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, otherwise it won't take 10 years to deliver the verdict.
Against the backdrop of BNP's allegation that the government has "used the court" to sentence Begum Khaleda Zia to keep her away from the next parliament election, the minister said the government did not lodge the graft case and it has no role to this end too.
In reply to the remark of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir that the imprisonment of Khaleda Zia would deepen the current political crisis, the AL general secretary claimed the verdict would not create any crisis in the political arena, rather it would intensify the internal feuds in BNP.
BNP senior vice-chairman and Begum Khaleda Zia's "fugitive" elder son Tarique Rahman, who was also sentenced to 10-year imprisonment and fined Taka 2.10 crore with four others in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, has been declared acting chairman of the party following the imprisonment of Begum Zia.
Referring to this, Quader said it is now crystal clear why BNP abolished Section 7 from its constitution. Now there is no bar in BNP's constitution for corrupt and convicted persons to be leader of this party, he added.
Superintending Engineer of Roads and Highways Department (Dhaka circle) Engineer Sabuj Uddin Khan, Gazipur Superintendant of Police Mohammad Harun-or-Rashid, Gazipur City AL President Ajmat Ullah Khan and General Secretary Jahangir Alam, among others, were present on the occasion - BSS.