Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday described the ‘boat’ as the ‘symbol of the people’ seeking vote for it saying Awami League’s re-election in the next polls was crucial to keep up the peace and the current development spree.
‘Nobody returns empty handed after voting for ‘boat’ . . . we have delivered more than what we had committed,’ Sheikh Hasina told a huge public rally organised by district Awami League at Chandpur Stadium in the afternoon.
She said that, as people’s
servants, her party wanted the country’s development, not killing and destruction and ‘we want to make such an arrangement so the people can live in peace.’
In an apparent reference to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, she said that they did not believe in the country’s independence and could not deliver anything for the national development or people’s welfare.
The premier said that the BNP had rewarded Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s killers and handed over the national flag to war criminals while ‘they made no contributions to the country’s development in the past and will not do so in future as well.’
‘The boat is your symbol which rescues human beings . . . the boat of Prophet Nooh had saved mankind along with the animal kingdom and birds while the people of the country earned independence by casting their votes for the boat,’ she said.
‘Do you want to keep up the continuation of development in the country? If you want to, then you will have to give vote for the Awami League,’ she said while the mammoth crowd raised their hands in a gesture of their supports with huge applause.
The premier said Awami League’s re-election for the second consecutive term in 2014 made the fruits of development available to people and the nation could witness the continued development spree with the continuation of the incumbent government.
‘We’ll celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary in 2020 and the golden jubilee of independence in 2021 by establishing a hunger and poverty-free Bangladesh. . . the continuation of the government is crucial to achieve the goal,’ she said.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader, former foreign minister and AL joint secretary Dipu Moni and disaster management minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya spoke, among others, at the rally chaired by district Awami League president Naziruddin Ahmed.
The premier said that the country witnessed development when Awami League came to power as ‘Awami League believes in development which starts from the villages as it uplifts the common people’.
On the other hand, she said that whenever the BNP came to power, they inflicted heinous torture on people, plundered public property, committed corruption, laundered money and assets abroad.
‘They grab people’s houses and business establishments and they are experts in terrorism, militancy and bomb and grenade attacks,’ Sheikh Hasina said.
The premier said the BNP-Jamaat nexus killed 500 people and seriously wounded 3500 by carrying out arson attacks in 2014 and 2015 in the name of movements as ‘BNP’s movement means burning people to death’.
During that period, she recalled, they also burnt nearly 4000 buses, trucks, CNG auto-rickshaws, trains and launches.
Sheikh Hasina elaborated her government’s impressive successes and achievements in different sectors saying ‘our goal is to ensure peace and security for the people and build a prosperous Bangladesh’. ‘We want to move keeping with our head high,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that Bangabandhu had realised the recognition of a least developed country for Bangladesh and, following his footprint, the present Awami League government had earned it the eligibility of a developing country after 43 years.
She criticised the Zia, Ershad and Khaleda regimes for rehabilitating war criminals after 1975 while Bangabandhu had started their trials.
‘They rehabilitated them socially and politically by making them prime minister, ministers, advisers and lawmakers,’ she said, adding that these regimes distorted the country’s history and banned the airing of Bangabandhu’s historic March 7 speech.
Sheikh Hasina said that after assuming office in 2009, her government initiated the trial of the war criminals and executed the verdicts against them.
‘We hate the BNP and Khaleda Zia for handing over the blood-stained red-green flag of the millions of martyrs to the war criminals . . . what could be more shameful than this,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that they were shameless as they did not believe in the country’s independence and creation of Bangladesh and they could not accept Bangladesh’s independence.
The prime minister said that the government of Zia, Ershad and Khaleda Zia did not contribute in the development of the country. The BNP tarnished Bangladesh’s image in the world by becoming champion in graft for five times and siphoning off money abroad.
‘The money laundering of Khaleda Zia’s sons was proved in the US Federal Court and Singapore Court and we have brought back some money that they embezzled,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that the BNP leader and her sons did not stop by just laundering the money, they also embezzled the orphans’ money. ‘They brought money from abroad in the name of orphans but the orphans did not get a single taka,’ she said.
The premier said the holy Quran forbade snatching of the orphans’ property, but Khaleda Zia and her sons did not hesitate to steal the orphans’ money. ‘For this, Khaleda Zia landed in jail and the BNP is waging movement for her release and the extent of their greed is so much that they have exceeded that extent,’ she added.
Sheikh Hasina said that after coming to power her party had been working for the distressed people. ‘We stand by the people and work for their welfare... it’s our principle and ideology,’ she said.
The prime minister reiterated her call to people, including parents, guardians, teachers, students and clerics to remain alert so that their children don’t indulge in drug addiction, militancy and terrorism.
While talking about the development of Chandpur, the prime minister mentioned that she had opened and laid foundation of 47 uplift schemes from the meeting venue on Sunday.
She announced that her government would establish a medical college and special economic zone in the district.
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