Taking a swipe at BNP’s criticism about the vaccine issue, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said BNP’s propaganda against COVID19 vaccines is an offense against public interest.
“Vaccination and following the health code are the only ways to deal with Coronavirus till now. For this, vaccines are crucial for public interest. So, propaganda against vaccines is not against the government, it is against the public interest,” he told newsmen.
The minister stated these replying to a query over a comment of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat in the city.
Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, said the persons, who are carrying out propaganda against the vaccines, are working against public interest. It is a punishable offence as per the law of Bangladesh, if anyone carries out propaganda against public interest, he added.
He said politics is a vow and it (politics) is for the welfare of common people. But the vow of politics of BNP is different, he added.
The minister said, “Our leader Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all leaders and activists of the party (AL) to stand beside the countrymen from the very beginning of COVID19 situation. From lawmakers to root level activists stand beside the people responding to her call.”
He said over two crore families get food assistance from the party (AL). Hundred activists including five central committee members of Awami League died due to Coronavirus, he said, adding over 130 AL lawmakers and one third Cabinet members were infected while many died due to COVID19.
Hasan said people can take vaccines with national identity card (NID) from now. “Earlier, there was a provision of registration for taking vaccines. But many people in villages don’t know how to do registration. In this situation, the party (AL) leaders and activists are providing assistance in the registration process. What do they (BNP) see fault here? They could do the work too,” he added.
The minister said the vaccine is being given publicly without seeing any opinion or party. The vaccine is being given through the health department and no party was involved there, he added.
He said the health workers are giving the vaccines and ‘directives have been given on behalf of our party (AL) to inspire the people as they take the vaccine’. “I’ve a question to Mirza Fakhrul that is it an abomination work? They could carry out publicity as the people take the vaccine. But they didn’t. Their propaganda is against public interest”, he added.
Over the lockdown issue, the minister said continued shutdown is never a solution. Bangladesh is a country of working people and decisions have to be made by combining life and livelihood, he added.
Hasan said the government is putting emphasis on following health code and wearing mask.