Thursday, 23 March, 2023

Election can be fair under AL govt: PM

By-polls in six JS seats proved it, she says

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said no one should raise any concern about the election being free and fair under the AL government following the recent by-elections in six parliamentary seats and Rangpur City Corporation, reports UNB.

“These have proved that fair elections are held during the Awami League period,” she said.

The prime minister said this while participating in the discussion on the thanksgiving motion on President's speech in parliament.

She said that six by-elections were held just a few days ago where Jatiya Party won in one seat.

She mentioned that in another seat, the BNP MP who resigned from the parliament returned as an independent candidate.

“Moreover, we left one to Rashed Khan Menon’s party where the Jatiya Party candidate won. Another was given to Hasanul Haque Inu’s party and it won in Bogra,” she said.

She said that AL candidate won only in Bogura and Chapainawabganj.

“No one could complain about Rangpur mayor election. But Jatiya Party won that election, Awami League lost.”

Therefore, she said, “we have been able to prove that the election has been fair, free and impartial during the Awami League government.”

“I hope no one gets a chance to raise anything about the election after this (by-elections and mayor election).”

She mentioned that AL always has fought for people's right to vote.

“I think it is our responsibility to ensure the right to vote.”

PM Hasina said that the government has built the Padma Bridge with its own funding, which was a challenging job.

“This one decision has changed the image of Bangladesh internationally. Those who earlier thought that Bangladesh will never be able to stand up proved wrong. Those who seized power after 1975 tragedy (assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) had wanted that,” she said.

Hasina said that the international status of Bangladesh has increased as the country has proved that it can.

She said that digital services are being launched in all areas and now the documents of land can be taken at home while any bill can be paid from home.

She said that the government is working for the overall development of the people of the country.        The premier recalled the election during Ziaur Rahman's tenure. The people had seen how the presidential election of 1981 was rigged, she said.

She also said that during his time General Ershad (founder of Jatiya Patty) changed the election results by withholding the counting for 48 hours.

She recalled that no party could form the government in the 1991 elections on its own and so BNP joined hands with Jamaat to form the government. And they held a election without participation of voters on February 15, 1996. People don't let go if votes are stolen. Khaleda Zia had to resign on March 30.”

The PM said that there was a conspiracy in 2001 regarding the sale of country’s gas.

She said that Bangladesh is sending medical teams, medicines, dry food to help the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

BSS adds: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) that the process of importing LNG from spot market has already been started to meet the demand of gas for power generation during the ongoing irrigation season, upcoming holy month of Ramadan and summer.

The Leader of the House said this while responding to a tabled question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Fakhrul Imam.

She said that in 2008, the daily gas production capacity was 1,744 million cubic feet while in 2018, the production capacity increased to 2,750 million cubic feet.

And currently the daily gas production capacity is 2,300 million cubic feet, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said that the increased demand must be met by importing LNG at a high price from the spot market to meet the increased demand of gas for power generation during the current agricultural irrigation season, Ramadan and summer as well as to keep the production uninterrupted in the industrial sector and to continue the production of captive power produced under the own management of various factories for export.

That is why the government has decided to increase the price of gas used only in electricity, industry, captive power and commercial sectors, leaving other consumer groups unchanged, she added.

She said The process of importing LNG from the spot market has already been adopted to meet the demand of gas in the said sectors.

In response to another question from the ruling Party lawmaker Kazim Uddin Ahmed, the Prime Minister said that the unprecedented success of increasing agricultural production and achieving food self-sufficiency in Bangladesh during the Awami League government has caught the attention of the world.

Sheikh Hasina, the chief of the ruling Awami League, said as per the election manifesto of her party, one of the goals of the government is to ensure food security and increase the export of agricultural products.

She said, For this purpose, our government carried out fertilizer management reforms, and is providing incentives to small and marginal farmers during natural calamities and development assistance in agricultural inputs, including fertilizers.

The prime minister said that agricultural machinery is being provided with development assistance to introduce modern agricultural system in the country.

She said that agricultural loans at low interest rates, fertilisers at affordable prices, improved varieties of seeds and irrigation are being arranged to help the farmers.

As a result, despite climate change and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global crisis, efforts to improve agriculture and introduce modern farming systems have continued, she continued.

In response to a question from Jatiya Party's Rustam Ali Farazi, Sheikh Hasina said that the government is keeping a watch on global observations regarding the possibility of a recession in the world economy in 2023 and is taking various steps to keep Bangladesh free from the effects of a possible recession.

Fiscal policy and monetary policy are being coordinated very carefully, she added.

The Prime Minister said that the government has taken steps to reduce unnecessary expenditure in order to continue the flow of necessary resources to the productive and social security sectors.

She said that if the flow of resources to the income generating productive sectors

and purchasing power of the marginalised people under the social safety-net programmes can be kept normal, the impact of the economic recession will be mitigated to a large extent and it can be avoided.