Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the people of the country will never allow the BNP-Jamaat alliance to assume power again to play ducks and drakes with their fate.
“Those who carried out bomb, grenade and bullet attacks, smuggled in 10-truck arms and misappropriated the money of the public and the orphans will never come to power again. The people of Bangladesh will never accept them,” she said.
She was presiding over a discussion marking the 103rd birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Children Day-2023, organised by the AL at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital in the afternoon.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh would definitely march towards development and prosperity and no conspiracy can stop it.
“Playing ducks and drakes with the fate of the people will not be allowed though numerous conspiracies are being hatched,” she asserted.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is the country of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and it will move round the world keeping its head high as a victorious nation.
“We are taking oath at the birthday of the Father of the Nation that we will do everything to move around the globe by keeping our heads high,” she said.
The Prime Minister asked her party leaders to work with dedication and patriotism for the welfare of the country and its people being inspired with the ideology of the Father of the Nation as Bangabandhu never wanted anything for himself but for the wellbeing of the countrymen.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, Presidium Member and Deputy Leader of the House Begum Matia chowdhury MP, Joint General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, MP, Organising Secretary Ahmed Hossain, executive committee member Nurul Islam Thandu, Organising Secretary Advocate Afzal Hossain, Health and Population Affairs Secretary Dr Rokeya Sultana, central executive member Prof Merina Jahan, MP, Dhaka South and North City AL Presidents Abu Ahmed Monnafi and Sheikh Bazlur Rahman respectively, among others, spoke at the discussion.
Publicity and Publication Secretary of the AL Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, MP, and his deputy Syed Abdul Awal Shameem moderated the programme.
Sheikh Hasina again slammed the BNP leaders for making blanket statements that the AL government did nothing but destroyed Bangladesh.
Pointing to BNP leaders, the Premier said if the AL government did nothing for Bangladesh’s development how the people have got Padma Bridge, Bangabandhu Tunnel, and Bangabandhu Satellite-1 and how the education rate rose to 75.2 percent, electricity, and healthcare services have reached every house and Bangladesh has achieved the status of a developing nation.
Mentioning that Khaleda Zia had given her last budget involving Tk 62,000 crore while Awami League government has given its last budget involving Tk 600,000 crores, she said, “How have we given a budget of Taka several lakh crores if development is not done?”
She also asked the BNP leaders what they did for the welfare of the people in 29 years during their regime after the assassination of Father of the Nation on August 15 in 1975.
The BNP-Jamaat clique did nothing for the country and its people rather they made Bangladesh a champion in corruption five times, she said.
They made the country dependent on other alongside plundering public money and laundering those abroad and leveled the country as a place of terrorism and militancy.
BNP had tried to portray military dictator Ziaur Rahman as the honest person saying that Zia breathed his last leaving an empty basket and a torn undervest and broadcast those on BTV for 40 consecutive days after the death of Zia.
But, magically, Zia’s family had got crores of money soon after coming to power in 2001 and siphoned off the money which was caught by the FBI, she said, adding that her government had so far brought back Tk 40 lakh of the smuggled money.
The BNP has no responsibility for the people as the party formed a government breaching the country’s constitution.
BNP wanted to make Bangladeshi people inhabitants of a country of baggers, she said referring to remarks of BNP leaders that it was not good for Bangladesh to become self-reliant in food production after the Awami League government transformed the country having a food deficit of 40 lakh tonnes into a self-reliant one after coming to power in 1996.
“The countrymen should know that the BNP wanted to make the people of Bangladesh baggers as the scope for corruption was reduced as their business with food had stopped,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina recalled the inhumane torture on the Awami League leaders and activists by both the Ziaur Rahman and her wife Khaleda Zia’s governments in which hundreds of them were killed.
The Prime Minister said the military dictator Zia had killed several thousands of military officers and soldiers in the name of so-called military trials.
Reminding the countrymen about the nationwide BNP-Jamaat’s mayhem against the AL leaders and activists, she said several thousands of women and children from the AL families were rapped after 2001 general elections like that of such barbaric incidents carried out by Pakistani occupation forces during the Liberation War in 1971, and many of them committed suicide at that time.
The Prime Minister said that the Awami League was formed by the masses so none can ruin the party and it has responsibilities towards the country and its people.
So, they are out to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041, she said.
The premier asked the countrymen to bring every inch of land under cultivation as the global economic recession and food crisis don’t hit Bangladesh.
As Ramadan is approaching nearer, she asked all concerned to remain vigilant against food hoarding and black marketing.
“We all would have to be cautious so that none can hoard food and do black-marketing. All will have to remain alert to this end,” she said.
The Prime Minister said they have taken all necessary measures so that the people won’t suffer during the month of Ramadan.
Talking about the food support programmes for the poor, she said the government provides rice at a subsidized rate of Taka 30 per kg to one crore people through family cards and gives rice at Taka 15 per kg to 50 lakh other people.
The premier said the government has decided to provide rice to 50 lakh more people (at Taka 15 per kg), if needed so that the people won’t suffer.
Besides giving rice, she said the government is also providing some other essential commodities including pulse, edible oil, sugar and chickpeas during the Ramadan (at subsidized prices for the poor).
“We’re taking every possible measure as none have to suffer from food shortage during the Ramadan,” she said