Khaleda Sought Tk 5cr, Claims BNP Man's Son
Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Son of a senior BNP leader has alleged that BNP chief Khaleda Zia sought Tk 5 crore from him in return for the Dhaka mayoral ticket from the party.

"She asked me if I had enough money. She asked for Tk 5 crore for election (expenses). But I am no (Mosaddek Ali) Falu or (Mirza) Abbas," Chowdhury Irad Ahmed Siddiqui told a news conference Monday in Dhaka.

"I went to see her. I expressed my interest (in running for Dhaka mayor)," said the son of BNP standing committee member Chowdhury Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui.

The father, who sat behind son and watched the proceedings, at this stage stood and said: "The news conference is over. Irad is a representative of the new generation.

"More intelligent and talented than us. But lacks in experience. He said a few things in an emotional outburst. (I hope) you media people will cooperate."

Irad called mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, former mayors BNP's Mirza Abbas and AL's Mohammad Hanif "all corrupt", who "failed to deliver".

"I am an honest, brave, righteous and dedicated Bangladeshi," he said of himself and claimed he had high degrees from the US.

He launched an offensive on all the likely BNP candidates. None among Khoka, Abbas, A S M Hannan Shah and Abdul Awal Mintoo was an acceptable candidate, he said.

"There are allegations of corruption against them all. After 1/11, all of them were charged and facing trial. Some of them had to go to jail."

Replying to a question, he said: "Sadeque Hossain Khoka failed as a mayor. Abusing the office of the city mayor, he made money.

"Mirza Abbas is a extortionist in the transport industry.

"Hannan Shah has had a record of corrupt practices. He is an 'illegitimate child of democracy'.

"Mintoo is a foreign passport holding corrupt agent of the West.

"They are not capable of doing anything for our city."

Irad said an intra-party fight for the nomination was on and that he was expecting to win the BNP ticket. "Begum Zia is aware of my activities. I am her blessed candidate."

A manifesto with a 68-point plan of action was handed to reporters at the news conference at his father's Gulshan home.


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