May 22, 2024

Moon Desk:  Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President
Sheikh Hasina today asked the leaders and activists of her party to be united
and stay alert to ensure the environment of exercising people’s voting right
in the upcoming election, as BNP-Jamaat is there to foil the election.

“Every leader and worker of AL have to be united, and the people’s right to
vote, which we have earned through struggles, have to be ensured. In order
for that right to be guaranteed, the environment must be maintained so that
people can cast their votes peacefully,” she said.

The premier issued this directive while delivering her address as the chair
at a commemorative discussion meeting organised by the AL marking the Jail
Killing Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here in the
capital.

Mentioning that their (BNP-Jamaat) conspiracy is to thwart the election, she
said “many hands are behind there to foil the election and they will try in
many ways.”

“But, our strength is the people, people of Bangladesh,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina firmly said that Bangladesh will move ahead with the ideology
of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the four
national leaders, adding that “the few miscreants can’t be successful to foil
the election.”

“None would be allowed to play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people
of the country,” she said.

AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader,
Presidium members valiant freedom fighter Shajahan Khan, valiant freedom
fighter Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Bir Bikram and Simin Hossain Rimi,
organising secretary Mirza Azam, central working committee member Dr Mushfik
Hossain Chowdhury, Syeda Zakia Nur Lipi, Dhaka South City President Abu Ahmed
Mannafi and Dhaka North City President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, also spoke.

AL publicity and publication secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and his deputy Syed
Abdul Awal Shameem moderated the discussion.

At the outset, one minute silence was observed to pay tribute to the national
leaders brutally killed on this day.

On November 3 in 1975, four national leaders and heroes of the country’s
Liberation War — Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Captain Mansur Ali and
AHM Quamruzzaman– were assassinated inside the Dhaka Central Jail.

The four leaders played a key role in forming the Mujibnagar government in
exile, that led the Liberation War in 1971, with Syed Nazrul Islam as the
acting president, Tajuddin Ahmad as the prime minister, Mansur Ali as the
finance minister and AHM Qamruzzaman as the home, relief and rehabilitation
minister.

The Prime Minister expressed her skepticism whether BNP will participate in
the upcoming national election as they have the doubt of getting seat after
winning election.

She said, “If they (BNP) come to election, actually they will participate in
it only for nomination business.”

In this case, the AL chief told her party leaders and activists that
“Nomination, we will give it. Because, I don’t sit idle as I will assess (the
nomination seekers) every six months.”

She directed her party men to remove the thinking from their head that “now
they (BNP) are not there, we will win or what will happen if we don’t get a
seat? We will get the rest of the seats and form the government”.

“This thought will bring disaster,” she said, adding, “So, the decision that
will be given (by us) have to be abide by.”

Sheikh Hasina also urged her party leaders and activists to create resistance
against the arsonists in every area in an organized manner, taking the people
on their side.

“Now, you will have to build resistance against these arsonists in every
area, not only in Dhaka city,” she said.

In addition, the premier asked her party men to give the protection of the
public lives and property by finding out and handing over the culprits behind
arson violence (to the law enforcers).

“If they (BNP-Jamaat) commit such arson violence in a place, you will have to
find out how many BNP or Jamaat men (who are behind it) there and hand them
over (to the law enforcers),” she said.

She said it is the responsibility of her party to ensure protection of public
lives and property so that these can’t be damaged.

“We’ve nothing. We’ve no mentor (Murobbi). We’ve the people of Bangladesh. We
will have to move taking them with us,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina asked all her party men to be organised in such a manner so
that not a single culprit behind arson violence can be spared. “If anyone is
caught red-handed while setting fire (to anything), then you will have to
throw him into the same fire. The hand that sets fire to anything will have
to be burnt. . .tit for tat. If so, they would learn lessons,” she said.

A minute’s silence was observed at the beginning of the programme to show
respect to all martyrs from the Language Movement, the Liberation War, the
August 15, 1975 carnage, the November 3, 1975 Jail Killing, the August 21
grenade attack and other pro-democratic movements.

 

The prime minister said Bangladesh has developed a lot till now as it has
been recognised as a role model of development by the world. When the
purchasing power of the people of the country has increased and time comes
for a little relief in people’s lives, then they (BNP) feel discomfort, she
added.

“If people stay good, they feel angry. BNP-Jamaat feels agony,” the premier
said.

She continued, “They play ducks and drakes with people’s lives. That’s why
this burning, arson terrorism.”

She went on saying, “Women and children are not spared from their hands,
police are not spared, hospitals are not spared. Ambulance with patients has
also come under their attack.”

Sheikh Hasina said that a Jubodal leader wearing attire with writing “press”
set on fire to vehicles, she added that they are trying to fool people. “We
have to protest against their terror activities taking people from all walks
of life together because we believe in the power of the people.”

The AL chief raised question that, “The party who kill people setting fire,
what politics do they do? Their politics is for whom? Their politics is for
whose interest?”

The prime minister said that they thought they would reverse Bangladesh again
through recurrence of incident like August 15 and November 3. “Today, they
couldn’t do that. Today, Bangladesh has moved forward with the spirit of
liberation war. That is what they want to destroy,” she added.

Noting that BNP secured only 30 seats out of 300 ones in the 2008 election,
she said now the position of BNP has become weak for their misdeeds.

The premier questioned who will be their leader if they run the election.
“Who will be made the prime minister? With whom the cabinet will be formed?”
she said.

She said BNP acting chairman (Tarique Rahman) is convicted in several cases
including the 10-truck arms haul case and money laundering case. Ziaur Rahman
had given birth to a black sheep.

“They were directly involved in the August 21 grenade attack. There is no
doubt,” she said, citing several remarks made by Khaleda Zia at that time.

It is learnt that Tarique Zia earns crores of pounds through gambling and
this gambling is his largest source of income, she said.

Talking about the jail killing, the AL president said Mostaq (Khondaker
Mostaq Ahmad) and Zia (Ziaur Rahman) were behind the jail killing as they had
been behind the August 15 carnage. Following the killings, all the goals,
ideals and spirit of the Liberation War were destroyed one after another, she
added.

“Had Ziaur Rahman been a real freedom fighter, why did he ban Joy Bangla
Slogan during his regime?” said Sheikh Hasina.

The prime minister asked her party leaders alongside the other concerned
agencies to find out the hoarders of commodities as the government will take
action against them.

“I would like to ask our political leaders as well that the hoarders try to
cut the pockets of the people by not marketing the commodities despite having
enough goods in their stocks. They will have to be found out. We’ll take
action against them,” she said.

Noting that conspiracies are being hatched in many ways against the
government, Sheikh Hasina said there is no shortage of any commodity as the
production of everything including meat, fish, rice, potato and vegetables
went up significantly in the country.

“Who are behind these (misdeeds)? They hoard goods, not marketing these. They
would talk against the government, increasing the commodity prices by not
marketing these goods,” she said.

The head of the government said the production didn’t decline to a slight
extent. “We’ve increased the production of everything including potato,
onion, rice and pulse,” she added.

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