The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is revenge for the insult to the family of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the people of Bangladesh, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said on Saturday at the inauguration of the dream project on Saturday.
To Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Quader said: "The whole nation salutes you, but the entire world admires you today. You proved that 'yes, we can' and Bangabandhu's daughter never bows down her head. We have built the bridge with our own money."
The prime minister proved that Bangladesh is a nation of heroes after she went through a difficult time due to the conspiracies around the funding of the nation's longest bridge, the bridges minister said during the inaugural ceremony on the bank of Padma River in Munshiganj's Mawa, reports bdnews24.com.
"What was the crime of Sheikh Rehana, Sajeeb Wazed, Saima Wazed and Rezwan Siddique? A family has been targeted and insulted. The whole nation has been insulted," Quader said,
"The conspirators defamed us with allegations of corruption. The family of Bangabandhu, former Awami League advisers, lawmakers and secretaries have been insulted. But the truth is that we have taken our revenge."
The Awami League government began the construction of the Padma Bridge in earnest a decade ago. The World Bank scrapped a financing deal for the bridge over an allegation of corruption. Several government officials faced temporary punishments due to their alleged links to corruption. Several people also spread propaganda against members of Bangabandhu's family over their alleged involvement in corruption at that time.
In that context, the prime minister took the initiative to construct the Padma Bridge with the country's own funds, excluding international lenders, including the World Bank. The 6.15-km long bridge, which cost Tk 301.93 billion, was completed in seven years across the Padma, one of the fastest-flowing rivers in the world.
Quader responded to that criticism on the day of the inauguration of the country's largest self-financed bridge after a long journey full of debate and controversy.