AL’s re-election needed to build hunger, poverty-free Bangladesh: PM

MYMENSINGH, Nov 2, 2018 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today sought vote for the Awami League in the upcoming general elections, saying re-election of her party is very much needed to build a hunger and poverty-free Bangladesh by executing all development plans and projects.

The prime minister said Bangladesh has already graduated to a developing country from the least developed one. “We are not stopping here … we’ve taken a 20-year perspective plan (2021-2041) and we want to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country by 2041,” she added.

“We’ve also taken the Delta Plan-2100 on how Bangladesh will be developed in 100 years and for this Awami League’s staying in power is very much necessary,” she continued, addressing a mammoth public meeting jointly organized by Mymensingh district and city Awami League at local Circuit House Maidan this afternoon.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, sought cooperation of the countrymen to further reduce the poverty rate in the country.

“We’ve been able to bring down the poverty rate to 21 percent from 41 percent over the last 10 years. So, we want that you will help us to cut the poverty rate by 5/6 percent more by casting vote for us in the way you did previously,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the nation will celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020 and the golden jubilee of independence in 2021.

“We’ve declared the Mujib Barsho from March-2020 to March-2021 and we hope Bangladesh will be free of hunger and poverty by the year 2021. So, there will be an appeal of ours to you to cast vote for us so that we can establish Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty-free country by implementing the ongoing projects and celebrate the golden jubilee of our independence in a festive manner,” she added.

Awami League Presidium Members begum Matia Chowdhury and Dr Abdur Razzak, General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Joint General Secretary Dr Dipu Moni, Organizing Secretary Misbahuddin Siraj and local parliament members and AL leaders spoke at the meeting while district AL President Advocate Zahirul Haque Khoka chaired it.

Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of the 195 development projects in four districts of the division by unveiling their plaques. Besides the ministers and senior Awami League leaders and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Begum Raushan Ershad were present on the occasion.

Thousands of people from across the division joined the rally carrying colourful posters of Bangabandhu and Sheikh Hasina and AL’s election symbol “boat”.

Recalling the dark days of terrorism, militancy and corruption during the five-year rule of BNP-Jamaat government, the Awami League president said killing, terrorism, militancy, extortion, grabbing and creation of Bangla Bhai were their only job at that time.

Sheikh Hasina said numerous AL leaders and workers became victims of killing, torture and arrest by the ruling alliance during the period.

“The BNP-Jamaat cadres tortured and raped many women of Mymensingh district in the way the Pakistani occupation forces did it in 1971,” she said.

The prime minister said the Awami League does not inflict torture on anybody when it comes to power. “Our party makes development of the country and the people,” she said.

On the other hand, she said, the BNP killed about 500 people and burnt 3,900 others through arson attacks to foil the elections in 2014.

“They also torched thousands of vehicles, launches and rails in the name of the so-called movement,” she said, adding that the people had no right to move normally at that time.

Highlighting her government’s stunning successes in different sectors, the prime minister said: “We don’t want a single person to remain homeless, hungry and suffer from diseases.”

“We’ve taken Ashrayan Programme and are constructing cluster villages for rehabilitation of the homeless,” she said.

Referring to a programme taken by Khulna district administration to free the southern city from beggars, the premier said the government will also take a similar programme to make Mymensingh a beggar-free city.

Describing the youth as the strength of the nation, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been providing scholarships and stipends to 2.04 crore children so that they continue their studies properly.

Pointing out inauguration and laying foundation stones of 195 projects in four districts of Mymensingh division, the premier said the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway has already been upgraded to a four-lane road.

“We’ve taken measures to build a hi-tech park and a special economic zone to attract investment and generate employment in the division,” she said.

Besides, she said, a divisional stadium, a separate education board and a novo-theatre will be established in Mymensingh.