Prime Minister and Bangladesh Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on Saturday (Oct 14) called upon the countrymen to be cautious so that BNP cannot thwart the upcoming national election through any evil move, saying the election will be held on time and the people will exercise their voting rights freely. "Election will be held in this country at any cost, and people will cast their votes freely," she said. The premier said this while addressing a grand rally organized by the AL Dhaka North City at Civil Aviation Field in the capital city's Kawla area, local media reported.
She said, "They (BNP) know it very well that if there is an election, votes will be casted for 'Boat', Awami League will come in the power, development of the country will be expedited further, and that is why BNP wants to foil the election and snatch away the voting rights of the people."
Mentioning that BNP is in dilemma whether they will participate in the next election, the Awami League chief questioned, "It is natural. Who is their leader to participate in the election? Who will be their Prime Minister? Is that the corrupt absconding criminal or the embezzler of orphans' money?"
In this regard, she alleged that BNP is trying to foil the next general election for this reason. "I will request all of you (the countrymen) to remain vigilant so they (BNP) cannot do that," she added.
Sheikh Hasina said that if the looters, corrupt, killers, dacoits and thieves like the BNP come to power they will just destroy the country. "Let them not destroy the country."
"Only the symbol 'Boat' can pull the country ahead," she said, urging the countrymen to cast their votes in favour of Boat in the next election.
The premier said if the people cast their votes in favour of Boat, then she will be in power otherwise not. "But I will continue my work for the welfare of the people," she added.
She said the Boat is an electoral symbol, which has given independence, development, electricity to each house, solved the water crisis, eased communication, arranged employments, created 100 special economic zones and many more. "The only symbol is Boat, and if it remains in power, all development programmes along with other works will be materialized in the country."
She requested all to vote in favour of Boat to give Awami League a chance for serving the people of the country again, saying: "If you want development then vote for Boat, if you want destruction then go for BNP-Jamaat."
Regarding the BNP's move to go to the foreigners, the Awami League chief categorically said that this move will not bring any result. "Power of the people is the best power, I believe in the power of the people, I have faith and trust in the people," she added.
Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, Awami League presidium members agriculture minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Shajahan Khan, and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, joint secretary and information and broadcasting minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, joint secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, organizing secretary Mirza Azam, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam, local lawmaker (Dhaka-18) Habib Hasan, Awami Jubo League Chairman Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash, member of the parliament from Dhaka-17 constituency Mohammad Ali Arafat, and Awami League Dhaka South City President Abu Ahmed Mannafi also spoke.
With Awami League Dhaka North City President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman in the chair, its General Secretary SM Mannan Kochi moderated the rally.
Leaders and activists of Awami League along with its front and associated bodies wearing T-shirts and caps of different colors with colorful banners, festoons, and placards from the morning thronged the rally ground, which eventually turned into a human sea, to hear PM Sheikh Hasina.
The rally was supposed to take place on Oct 7 on the occasion of the soft opening of the Third Terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), but it was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
The PM told the countrymen that Bangladesh has witnessed massive development because of the only reason that, "You are the people who voted AL in 2008, 2014 and 2018 elections respectively".
"As you've elected our candidates casting your votes in the elections, the development of the country has been possible," she said.
In this regard, she referred to different mega projects such as the Padma bridge, metro rail, elevated expressway, Ruppoor nuclear power plant, third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Karnaphuli Tunnel in Chattogram and many others.
In addition to ease traffic movement and make it hassle-free for people, a circular elevated expressway in Dhaka, underground train in Dhaka and other big development projects would be in progress, she added.
She also mentioned that the work of Bus Rapid Transit from the HSIA to Gazipur is near to completion, while Purbachal expressway has been constructed for the convenience of people.
The head of the government assured the inhabitants of DNCC to construct overpasses on rail tracks so that people don't need to face any obstacle for train movement.
"It is our (Awami League's) duty to look after the civic amenities and make everyone happy," she said, mentioning that she lost her mother-father-brother and relatives on Aug 15, 1975 carnage and found the people of Bangladesh as loved ones.
She continued, "Today, the people of Bangladesh are my family, the people of Bangladesh are my near and dear ones, and that is why I have taken it as my responsibility to work for the people of the country."
Expressing her grief over the temporary sufferings faced by people from Dengue, the PM requested all to keep their house and adjacent areas clean to eliminate breeding grounds of mosquitoes and other safety measures for their family members.
Referring to the Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine war and other global challenges, she reiterated her call to the countrymen not to spare an inch of land rather bring all arable land under cultivation to produce their own food whatever they can.
"We will produce our food on our own. We won't seek any assistance from anyone, and we will go ahead with dignity," she said.
The premier also called upon the people to find out the hoarders and black-marketers, saying that the government will take stern action against them so that the people don't face any sufferings.
Simultaneously, she also made her call to the countrymen to exercise austerity in using electricity and water as the government has to give huge subsidies to these sectors.
Reiterating her goal to make Bangladesh a Smart country, she said, "Bangladesh will be a Smart Bangladesh of 2041, where there will be smart population, smart government, smart economy and smart society."
The government is building skilled workforce through providing computers and other training with modern education, she added.