Thursday, 2 February, 2023

Next nat’l polls in first week of Jan 2024: PM

She seeks vote for ‘Boat’

  • Special Correspondent
  • 8 December, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Seeking votes for boat symbol, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that the next parliamentary elections would be held in the first week of January in 2024.

“I seek your vote for the boat symbol as the next parliamentary elections will be held in the first week of January in 2024,” Hasina said while addressing a mammoth grand rally at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox’s Bazar.

Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, urged the crowd to make a commitment by raising their hands that they would give the mandate for the boat.

“Will you [the crowd] vote for the boat? Make a promise to vote for the boat by raising your hands,” she said.

“As you have cast votes for the boat, we have assumed office for consecutive three terms. The country has been experiencing the development as we have been in office since 2009. Bangladesh has got the recognition of developing country status,” she told the rally, organised by Cox’s Bazar AL district unit.

The premier said her government wants to build the country a developed and prosperous one. “Bangladesh would be a developed and prosperous one by 2041 what the father of the nation dreamt of,” she said.

Bitterly criticising the BNP-Jamaat clique, the premier said what they gave to the country, except burning people to death, killing, looting and laundering money abroad.

She said they burnt 3,000 people to death, killed 500 people and vandalised 3,500 vehicles.         Referring to the grisly grenade attack on August 21 in 2004, she said grenades, used in wars, were hurled at the peace rally, leaving 22 leaders and activists killed. 

“The BNP-Jamaat alliance could not give anything to the people except killing, money laundering and hurling bombs. Khaleda Zia has been awarded punishment for embezzling money meant for the orphans while Tarique Rahman has also been punished. So, the countrymen do not expect anything from them,” she said.

With Cox's Bazar District AL President (Acting) Advocate Faridul Islam Chowdhury in the chair, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, and AL central leaders also spoke on the occasion.

At the outset of the rally, the Prime Minister inaugurated 29 development projects and laid the foundation stones of four schemes involving Tk 1,963.86 crore.

Mentioning various schemes taken by the incumbent government to minimize the struggle of the lower-middle class and lower-income group of people, the Prime Minister said as long as she is in power it is her responsibility to look after the countrymen.

"As the daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it is my duty to look after your welfare as long as I am in the power," she said.

The Prime Minister said after the 1975 carnage, the governments of Zia, Ershad and Khaleda Zia during their 21 years of the regime didn't give anything to the people instead of looting the properties of the people.

The Prime Minister said she considered all of the countrymen as her own people and her only job is to do the welfare of the people of Bangladesh.

Mentioning that each person in village will get civic amenities, she said that her aim is to make every village a city and give a better life to every person. "And that's why her government is making arrangements to change the fate of the people of Bangladesh by developing connectivity of roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways."

Sheikh Hasina also mentioned that the government has provided broadband internet services within the reach of rural people, set up digital centres at all union parishad level, opened up mobile phone services to the private sector, given the opportunity to open bank accounts for farmers at Taka 10, and provided agricultural equipment cards to two crores of people.

She also referred to various public welfare and poor-friendly programs taken by her government, such as providing scholarships to 2.53 crore students, distribution of free textbooks up to the secondary level and providing assistance in higher education from Father of the Nation's Education Assistance Trust Fund.

Today, Bangladesh has achieved the status of a developing country, but the government wants to make it a developed and prosperous country by 2041 as dreamt by Father of the Nation, the Premier said.

Referring to her government's projects of building houses for the homeless people, she said not a single person will be landless or homeless in Bangabandhu's Bangladesh.

Urging the people, who attended the rally, to find out whether there are landless-homeless people in their respective areas, Sheikh Hasina said her government will rehabilitate them if their names and addresses are enlisted by the authorities concerned.