AL needs to remain in power for five more years: PM

DHAKA, Seeking vote for her party in the coming election Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the Awami League should stay in power at least for five more years so that none can upset the country's current pace of progress.

The prime minister said this while presiding over a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Awami League at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) marking the Victory Day 2018.

Sheikh Hasina said her party has prepared an economic plan to reduce poverty by 5/6 percent more before celebrating 'Mujib Year' marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu in 2020 and golden jubilee of independence in 2021.

Without naming anybody the prime minister said deviation from truth, ideology and right track none can do anything good to the people, she said.

The prime minister said she has immense confidence in the people of Bangladesh and they would not allow anybody in future to veer off the country from the existing path of development and spirit of liberation war.

Awami League advisory council member Tofail Ahmed, general secretary Obaidul Kader and noted writer and intellectual Muntasir Mamun, spoke among others, on the occasion conducted by publicity secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud and deputy publicity secretary Aminul Islam.

Joint secretaries of the party Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Raman, organizing secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, women affairs secretary Fazilatunessa Indira, health affairs secretary Rokeya Sultana, relief affairs secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, deputy office secretary Biplob Barua and leaders of Dhaka south and north units of the party also took part in the discussion.

Criticising the manifesto of Oykiyo Front led by Dr Kamal Hossain the prime minister said in the manifesto they have committed to changing the 'authoritarian regime'.

What kind of change they want to bring in the country, the prime minister asked recalling the emergence of militancy, terrorism, money laundering and unbridled corruption during BNPJamaat regime from 20012006.

They ruled the country for 39 years out of 47 years after independence. But, what they had given to the people excepting making their own fortune and amassing wealth at home and abroad, Sheikh Hasina said.

Sheikh Hasina said BNP had branded Bangladesh as a most corrupt nation in the world ranking making it champion in corruption for five consecutive years. Awami League did nothing during its stay in power disgracing the nation, she added.

Bangladesh is now regarded as the model of development and its nationals are honoured with dignity abroad. So, I cannot understand where we have established totalitarianism, the prime minister said.

Sheikh Hasina blasted the Oikyo Front for being associated with the antiliberation forces and giving nomination to the persons convicted for corruption, militancy and war crimes.

Theoretically they talk high, but they have joined hands with the all evil forces. I don't want to mention their names I can only show pity for them as they are derailed and purposeless, she said.

The prime minister said the post 1975 rulers erased the history of independence from the memory of the people and destroyed the spirit of the liberation war. It's misfortune for a generation who was brought up without knowing the glorious history of their ancestors, she added.

After coming power in 1996, Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government paved the way to let the people know the real history of the independence and implement the spirit. But, the process was frustrated when BNPJammat came to power in 2001, she continued.

Sheikh Hasina blamed an orchestrated conspiracy against her party to bar it from coming to power in 2001 despite wooing more votes than BNPJamaat alliance.

BNPJammat didn't come to power in 2001 with securing popular vote. They got less votes, but more seats. So, they never cared about the welfare of the people, but nursing corrupts, terrorists and militants. They resorted to reign of terror like marauding Pakistani force in 1971, she said.

Pointing out some terror and grenade attack incidents during BNPJammat regime the prime minister said their terrorism halted normal life of people, and even the foreign diplomats were not spared.

Sheikh Hasina said a politician should do politics to serve the people. But, BNP looted the public wealth when they were in power and killed people in arson attacks when they were in opposition, she added.

So, on which ground they will solicit peoples' support to come to power again, the prime minister asked saying people should also know who would be their prime minister if the BNP backed Oiyko Front wins the coming election.

The prime minister said BNP had enrolled one crore 20 lakh fake voters and constituted an 'ownstyled' Election Commission to ensure their victory in the general election in 2007.

The prime minister said her government strictly controlled militancy and terrorism to take forward the county. Awami League government erased the 'bad name' of Bangladesh as a corrupt nation, rebranding it as a 'developing country' and 'model of development'. Mentioning the programs of her government to build a 'digital Bangladesh' the prime minister said youths are getting modern and technology based education.

Now, living condition of the people of Bangladesh has been improved and people of grassroots level are enjoying the benefits of the development, she said adding that her government in its entire economic plan has given emphasis on rural development.

The goal of our every step focused on changing the lots of people, giving jobs to youths, create business opportunities and explore scopes of modern and vocational education, she said.

We didn't create an alternative government like 'Hawa Bhaban' or atmosphere for terrorists, militants or corrupt people But we are tirelessly working for welfare of the people. she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has introduced the social safety net (SSN) programmes for alleviating abject poverty. The government has taken steps so that the beneficiaries can receive the allowances at home, she said.

One of the main successes of the Awami League government was to instill confidence in people about their capacity to do something for themselves and society as well, the prime minister said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)