Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina today asked her party men to work for ensuring a free, fair and peaceful national election on January 7 so that none can raise any question about it.
She also reiterated her call to vote for “Boat” for continuation of the development.
“You will work for holding the next general election in a free, fair and peaceful manner so that none can raise any question about the polls,” she said.
She made the call while virtually addressing the election rallies in Panchagarh and Lalmonirhat in Rangpur division, Natore and Pabna in Rajshahi division and Khagrachhari in Chattogram division together from the AL office at Tejgaon here this afternoon.
The AL chief asked her party men to make sure the participation of the people in the next polls so that they can vote freely for the candidates of their choice.
“Participation of the people and the voters in the upcoming election is a must. It matters nothing which party is taking part in the election or not,” she said.
She mentioned that BNP will not participate in the election as there is no guarantee of rigging votes.
“There was no question about the fairness of 2008 election. BNP-led alliance only got 30 seats in that election. They will not take part in this election as they failed to assume power in 2008,” she said.
The premier reminded all that the BNP was been dislodged from the power twice by the countrymen on charges of vote rigging.
But the Awami League believes in election and thus empowers the people as it had established democracy and voting rights of the people after a long struggle.
The AL chief asked her party men to shun the path of violence and give scope for electioneering to every candidate, including the independent candidates of her party, to drum up public supports in favour of them.
She said all the candidates will have to go to the people and seek vote for them shunning the path of violence without interrupting others in their election campaign.
“We want the people to cast their vote freely. They will vote for the candidates of their choice and thus democracy will be strengthened further,” she said.
Otherwise, Bangladesh and its development will be ruined, she warned.
“Those who get votes from the people will be elected. None will interfere with anyone’s rights. I don’t want to see any violence and conflict to this end,” she said.
She sounded a note of warning against his party men in case of any involvement in violence over the election.
“If any violence occurs and involvement of any of my partymen is found, they will not be spared. Keep in mind that I will take appropriate measures in this regard,” she said.
The Awami League president once again sought vote for her party’s electoral symbol ‘Boat’ for the continuation of the ongoing development and transforming the country into a poverty-and hunger-free Smart Bangladesh.
“The people of the country had got independence and financial freedom while Bangladesh has earned the status of a developing country… We will build a developed, prosperous, poverty-and hunger-free Smart Bangladesh if people vote us to power to serve them,” she said.
The Awami League president formally started the party’s electioneering on Wednesday through the visits to the shrines of saints Shahjalal and Shah Paran in Sylhet.
She then attend a public rally, organised by Sylhet district and city units of the AL, at the Government Alia Madrasa ground in the city’s Chowhatta area at 2:00pm.
She is expected to be in Barishal on December 29 and address an election rally in the district town at 3:00pm on that day.
Sheikh Hasina will then visit Gopalganj on December 30 and address a rally in Gopalganj-3 (Tungipara and Kotalipara) constituency. She will address the AL rally in Madaripur-3 the same day.
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, Presidium Members Kazi Zafarullah and Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Join General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, MP, Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua and his deputy Sayem Khan were present at Tejgaon party office end.
While local AL leaders were present at the five district rallies which turned into human seas with participation of hundreds of thousands of people from all strata of life.
A video documentary on the unprecedented nationwide developments in every sector, including health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, information communication and technology, poverty reduction, socio-economic and food production, carried out by the Awami League government in the last 15 years, was screened on the occasion.
Sheikh Hasina said the BNP was formed illegally, violating the country’s constitution from the pocket of a military dictator, Ziaur Rahman, who initiated the vote rigging by holding yes/no and presidential election while his wife Khaleda Zia followed the same path twice, in 1996 and 2006.
“Now, it is very unfortunate that we’re to hear the words (of lessons) of democracy and votes from those who were driven out on two occasions on charge of vote-rigging,” she said.
The Premier asked all to remain alert as the BNP-Jamaat clique is out to foil the 12th parliamentary election by conducting violence and arson terrorism.
“In this upcoming election, all of you will have to be careful so that none can harm the people by resorting to terrorism and militancy. I would like to urge all to be vigilant in this regard,” she said.
About the recent violence, including attacks on trains, she said the BNP has again started unleashing arson violence, what they did in 2013 and 2014 to foil election.
“They feel unrest in their minds seeing the people remain in peace,” she added.
Without mentioning the name of BNP leader Tarique Rahman, she said there is a black sheep who opened Hawa Bhaban in 2001 to resort to corruption and none could run business without giving him bribes.
She said the person (Tarique) went to London giving the caretaker government a bond that he would not do politics anymore, and now he is giving orders to thwart the election, staying there.
“The country will have to be saved from their hands,” she said, adding that the BNP is an organization of terrorists and militants.
Highlighting her government’s success in ensuring the progress of the country, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has changed radically in the last 15 years.
“There is no famine (Monga) in the country’s northern Bengal. Every district got a touch of development. “The entire Bangladesh has witnessed a touch of development,” she said.
Apart from these, she also highlighted the construction of 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centres across the country, introduction of a universal pension scheme, expansion of social safety net, food programmes, making the country ‘Digital Bangladesh’, employment generation, improvement of connectivity, providing landless and homeless families with free abodes under Ashrayan project and providing agricultural inputs and materials at subsidized prices.
The AL President has pledged to make Bangladesh corruption free as the corruption harms society more than anything else.
“We have already announced zero tolerance against corruption to stop corruption,” she said.
She continued that some people have become wealthy by making quick bucks through corruption, while the people who live honestly have a miserable life.
“We want to make our Bangladesh corruption free,” she said.