Mentioning that the next general elections will be held in December this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called on people to vote for her party’s electoral symbol, boat, to achieve the goal of making Bangladesh a developed and prosperous country.
“…Bangladesh will be a developed and prosperous nation. The people of Bangladesh, both at home and abroad, will move forward with dignity in the global arena. It’s our goal. To achieve this goal, we want vote for ‘boat’ in the next election to be held in December next,” she said.
Formally launching her party’s electoral campaign, Hasina was addressing a public rally, arranged by the local unit of Awami League, on the Sylhet Alia Madrasa ground on Tuesday afternoon.
She urged voters to remain alert against terrorism, militancy and corruption. “There’s no room for terrorism, militancy and corruption on Bangladesh’s soil.”
Claiming that the “boat” symbol brought in the country’s independence and showed the path of prosperity, she said the symbol is taking Bangladesh towards the path of development.
Earlier in the day, the premier offered prayers at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal, Hazrat Shah Paran, and Hazrat Gazi Borhan Uddin in Sylhet.
Calling leaders and activists of the BNP-led alliance looters, killers and arson attackers, she said: “When Awami League comes to power, the country sees development. But the BNP-Jamaat alliance knows well how to destroy the country’s image.”
Hasina also alleged that BNP indulges in militancy and terrorism when it comes to power. “When Awami League remains in power, Bangladesh earns fame and gets awards. But when the BNP remains in power, Bangladesh is condemned.”
She said BNP and Jamaat resorted to killing and massive vandalism in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and felled a huge number of trees in the name of movement in the country. “BNP knows only destruction. It doesn’t know how to build anything.”
During the violence carried out by BNP in the three years, some 500 people were killed, more than 3,036 people suffered burn injuries, and 3,252 buses, 29 rails, nine launches and 70 government offices were torched, she added.
She also said: “We’ve never seen such fire violence. The movement is for the people and for materializing their demands. But BNP burned people to death… When people took to streets to resist, they [BNP men] refrained from it.
“If Awami League had not come to power in 2014, the country would not have seen the massive development and the people would not have got the touch of development.”
Hasina, also the Awami League president, said Bangladesh has now become a role model in the whole world and its people got dignity as her party was voted to power.
About militancy, she said, Islam is a religion of peace. Islam never supports militancy and terrorism. “Those who kill innocent people in the name of Islam will never go to the heaven,” she added.
She urged all, including parents, teachers, conscious citizens, religious leaders and guardians, to stay alert whether their children are being deviated.
Development projects inaugurated
Prime Minister Hasina inaugurated and laid the foundation plaques stones of a total of 35 development projects, which Awami League leaders see as “gifts” from the prime minister for the district’s people ahead of the polls.
The development projects are a prayer room for women at Hazrat Gazi Borhan Uddin shrine, beatification of the shrine and extension of its main road up to two kilometres, a six-storey academic-cum-administrative building at Sylhet Government College, a building for fertilizer testing and research laboratory, district office of Department of Narcotics Control, Sylhet divisional and district NSI office building, Sylhet Muktijoddha Complex Bhaban, Zakiganj upazila Muktijoddha Complex Bhaban, a 12-storey Nagar Bhaban of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC), drainage system at Babuchhara, extension of Jalalbad road, Sylhet-Sunamganj bypass road, overlay work on Moulavibazar-Rajnagar-Fenchuganj-Sylhet road, Rashidpur-Bishwanath-Lamakazi road, Sylhet-Gopalganj-Charkhai-Zakiganj road, Darbasta-Kanaighat-Shahabagh road and Dhaka (Kanchpur)-Bhairab-Jagadishpur-Sayestaganj-Sylhet-Tamabil-Jaflang road (Sylhet-Sherpur point), pavement work at Sherpur toll plaza point on the highway, Sultanpur Union Parishad Complex Bhaban under Zakiganj upazila, Kamalbazar Union Parishad Complex Bhaban under Dakshin Surma Upazila, Kanaighat road, and a three-storey primary healthcare centre at Kuituk.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Awami League General Secretary and Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Division Obaidul Quader, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury and senior leaders of the party accompanied the premier during her visit.