Please drop it, says Obaidul Quader on media reports over assaulting MP
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-02-26 17:42:37.0 BdST Updated: 2017-02-26 19:43:08.0 BdST
Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader has evaded questions about reports concerning his assault on Tangail MP Md Sanowar Hossain, asking reporters to ‘please drop it’.
The Awami League general secretary faced questions about last week’s incident on Sunday on his way to observe proceedings at the BRTA Mobile Court in Dhaka’s Topkhana.
“I have no comment on the matter,” he said. “The MP has already responded and there is nothing more to say. Do not raise an unnecessary fuss.”
On Feb 18, Quader had stopped over at the Jamuna Resort near the Bangabandhu Bridge in Tangail while on his way to Dhaka from Rajshahi.
Reports from newspapers and online portals said that he had become angry with MP Sanowar and had assaulted him with punches and slaps.
The next day Sanowar denied the assault and said the large crowd and their slogans had only angered the minister.
Though Quader declined to comment at first he later said: “The Awami League is a family. I have authority over activists, but no right to strike them.”
On Sunday, the minister also expressed his annoyance at the questions.
“Were any journalists present during the incident?” he said. “Was this a formal meeting? Why is it necessary to complicate the matter when the MP has denied it himself? Please drop it.”
Quader also spoke on several other matters including the corruption cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, the Khulna transport workers strike and public transport costs.
Asked whether Khaleda would be able to participate in the upcoming elections if found guilty of corruption, Quader said: “I do not understand why BNP leaders assume Begum Zia will be convicted. Everything is proceeding according to the rules.
"The trial is ongoing. There can be a conviction or there may not be one. The court may find her innocent. How can I tell the future?"
On the topic of the transport strike in Khulna protesting the life sentence for the bus driver convicted over the accident resulting in the deaths of filmmaker Tareque Masud and cinematographer Mishuk Munier, he said: “They asked for my opinion and I said they should not disrespect the court’s decision. They can always appeal the decision if they are disappointed with the verdict... these illogical protests will only hurt the people, not hurt them.”
Asked whether transport fare would rise given the latest gas price hike, he said: “In most cases a rise in the price of gas lead to a rise in fare, but sometimes that's not the case. We cannot say at the moment. The BRTA has a committee which consults with stakeholders and decides whether to revise fares.”
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