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BNP morally supports teachers, students movements: Fakhrul

Messenger Online

Published: 19:09, 6 July 2024

Update: 19:11, 6 July 2024

BNP morally supports teachers, students movements: Fakhrul

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.Photo : Collected

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday (6 June) said their party morally supports the ongoing movements by public university teachers and students based on 'justified' demands.

Speaking at a press conference at their party chairperson’s Gulshan office, he dismissed allegations from ruling party leaders that BNP is inciting the teachers' protest against the new universal pension scheme "Prottoy" and the students' agitation protesting the reinstatement of the quota system in government jobs.

"What they (AL leaders) are saying is illogical. There is no question that BNP is inciting the movement and depending on the protestors," Fakhrul said.

However, he said the BNP, as a responsible party, must react to incidents happening within the country.

"They (teachers and students) are carrying out their movements, and we have moral support for them now and will continue to do so. Can't we support a justified movement?" the BNP leader said.

Fakhrul urged the government to meet the protesters' demands by rescinding the "Prottoy" pension scheme for teachers and reducing the current 56 percent quota in government jobs to a reasonable level.

“There’s no alternative to establishing a merit-based state governance system in the twenty-first century to sustain in technology and knowledge-based global system. So, we agree with the just and rational demands of the general students' quota reform movement. We hope that the government will accept these demands in due time,” he said.

In the same way, the BNP leader said the protest initiated by university teachers and employees is logical and justified. “We support their rational movement and demand the immediate withdrawal of the pension scheme (Prottoy).”

Justifying their party’s support for the teachers' demands, the BNP leader said the issue of teachers is most sensitive since they have no other source of income. Unlike others who indulge in theft, corruption, or malpractice, teachers do not engage in such activities."

He said the teachers have become angry over the new pension scheme as they are solely dependent on their salaries.

Fakhrul said their party thinks the government has introduced a new scheme under the guise of a universal pension scheme as a tactic to salvage the fragile financial sector.

When the national treasury is almost empty and the banking sector is nearly bankrupt, he said the government is attempting to initiate the pension scheme to continue plundering.

“Prottoy is a new plundering scheme of the illegitimate and economically bankrupt government. The illegal regime is trying to introduce this scheme arbitrarily, without engaging in any discussions with the stakeholders, including the university teachers and staff. So, the teachers’ agitation is undoubtedly justified and worthy of support.”

Replying to a question, Fakhrul said if the BNP returns to power, the party will revoke this pension scheme if it remains until then.

About the anti-quota movement, he said some quotas in government jobs can be preserved for the children of freedom fighters, members of ethnic minorities, physically challenged, and other disadvantaged groups of people. “But it can’t be 56 percent. This could be five-fifty percent to value the merit.”

He said their party has no objection to keeping quotas in jobs for the children of freedom fighters, but the government is giving certificates to fake freedom fighters who avail this quota facility. “We can’t support that.”

In the face of a strong student movement, Fakhrul noted the government abolished the quota provision in government jobs through a circular issued on October 4, 2018.

Opposing the recent High Court verdict that restored the 30 percent quota system for the children of freedom fighters, he said if 56% goes to the quota, then the development of merit will not be possible at all.

“It is almost impossible to survive as a nation in technology and merit-based world order by maintaining the 56 percent quota system. Quotas in the first, second, third, and fourth class of jobs can’t be helpful for flourishing the merits and are contrary to the pledge of Liberation War to build a nation and society based on merit without discrimination,” the BNP leader observed.

He alleged that the current government is making evil efforts to use the judiciary as a weapon to suppress the just demands of the people and the students as it did in the past.

“We believe all efforts to suppress the legitimate demands of the student through the use of the law and judiciary will turn futile. History teaches us that the rightful movements of the people can never be suppressed,” Fakhrul observed.