Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the next general election would be held at any cost, and the opposition leader would not be able to foil it.
“The next general election will be held at any cost, the BNP leader (Khaleda Zia) doesn’t have the ability to foil it, and we won’t allow her to do that,” she said while addressing a mammoth public rally at MC Academy playground, says a UNB report from Sylhet.
Golapganj upazila unit of Awami League organised the rally with its president Iqbal Ahmed Chowdhury in the chair.
Accusing Khaleda Zia of trying to destroy the hard-earned democracy, Sheikh Hasina said the opposition leader told a rally that she does not want votes from people, but wants to resist it. “Then what does she want -- anarchy in the country, terrorism and militancy? The people of Bangladesh don’t want terrorists, corrupt, and militants, they want peace and development.”
In a sharp reaction to BNP’s allegation that the Prime Minister was campaigning spending public money, Sheikh Hasina said that the BNP chief did the same thing during her 2001-2006 rule. “Please, go through the newspapers and you’ll get the reply,” Hasina said pointing at Khaleda.
The prime minister also said she will always seek votes as she believes in democracy and constitutional process. “The constitutional process will continue.”
Responding to Khaleda’s allegation that the Election Commission is spineless and incapable to hold any fair and neutral election, she said the BNP chief might have forgotten that this Election Commission was formed by then President Zillur Rahman in consultation with all stakeholders.
“If this Election Commission has failed to hold any fair and neutral election how your (Khaleda) candidates won the last five city corporation elections,” she said questioning, “Does it mean BNP has won these elections through vote rigging, and the Election Commission helped her to do so?”
The ruling Awami League president said Khaleda had wanted an “Election Commission of a type led by Justice Aziz” which enrolled 12.3 million fake voters.
Referring to the party’s election pledge to hold trial of war criminals, the AL chief said, “We’ve lived up to our commitment.”
She alleged that the BNP leader had wanted to save those war criminals. “Her heart now burns for them…you’ve failed to obstruct their trial and won’t be able either. Their trial will be completed on Bangladesh soil, InshaAllah,” she said.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and Minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta, among others, addressed the rally. Home Minister MK Alamgir, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and former mayor of Sylhet City Corporation Badruddin Kamran were present.