Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday (January 10) said it is not so easy to dislodge her party from power through pushing, referring to BNP-Jamaat’s scheduled nationwide sit-in demonstration tomorrow as part of an attempt to oust the government.
“They are now saying they will wage a movement from January 11. The most left and right leaning parties have also joined with them. All of them in unison from one place will oust us (from the power). I want to say one thing - Awami League is a party working for the people’s welfare. It is not so easy to push away the Awami League from power,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while presiding over a discussion meeting organized by the AL at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here marking the historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Referring to December 10 last, she said they have created a great panic among the people by saying that they would dislodge the AL government on December 10.
“Their hugely publicized December 10 rally had finally gone to Golapbagh,” she said.
The Prime Minister, however, said that her party has proved that it can topple any party from power if it goes to power through vote rigging and illegally.
“We have proved time and again that the Awami League can do it (topple illegal governments),” she added.
General Secretary of the AL and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, gave the address of welcome.
AL central executive committee members Prof Mohammad Ali Arafat and Advocate Tarana Halim, Advisory Council Member Prof Farzana Islam, noted actor Ramendu Majumdar, Dhaka South and North City AL President and General Secretary Abu Ahmed Mannafi and SM Mannan Kochi, among others, spoke in the discussion.
AL Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, MP, moderated the discussion.
On this day (January 10) in 1972, Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the nation and supreme commander of the country's Liberation War, returned to the sacred soil of independent Bangladesh from London via New Delhi after 290 days of captivity in Pakistan jail.
Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda Zia had held a farcical election on February 15, 1996 and attempted to hold another on January 6, 2006, but both the elections were cancelled as the people had ousted them for vote rigging.
“Those (BNP) who were boycotted and rejected by the people time and again for vote rigging, when did they practice democracy? They have no democracy within their party… they have some hired persons who are out to spread propaganda against the Awami League to mislead the people,” she said.
Pointing finger at the BNP, she said the party which talks about democracy, was formed in the pocket of military dictators violating the democratic process.
The Prime Minister said, on the contrary, her party practices democracy within the party and in the country, adding that they have started transparent ballot boxes, voter lists with photographs and EVM so that people can rightly cast their votes.
“We will accept the result of voting,” she said.
She reminded all about the 2008 general election, saying that none can raise questions about the authenticity of the polls and asked the BNP why they only got 30 seats (29 in election and one in by election) in that election.
She said AL is the only party in Bangladesh’s history which handed over power in a peaceful manner in 2001.
The people voted the AL to power time and again as the party has been working for their welfare and socio-economic development since assuming office in 2009.
“So, the journey of Awami League towards development will be continuing,” she said.
The AL president said her party has pledged to put the country one step forward from the least developed status and transform the country into a digital one by implementing the “Vision-2021”, she said.
AL has kept its promise by transforming Bangladesh into a developing country when the nation observed the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence alongside making Bangladesh into a digital country, she added.
“Awami League has always kept its promises,” she said.
Briefly describing the measures taken by her government for the overall development of Bangladesh, she said those who are now 20 years old can’t imagine in which position Bangladesh was just 14 years back as the country turned around over this period because of massive development.
The Father of the Nation was assassinated on August 15 in 1975 when he made the country a least developed one, she said, adding that had Bangabandhu been alive for a few more years, Bangladesh would have been a developed and prosperous country within 10 years of independence.
The premier said Bangabandhu is no longer with them, but his ideals and policies still exist within their party.
She said they will transform the country into a developed, prosperous and “Smart Bangladesh” following the ideal and policy of the Father of the Nation.
“We are giving a promise to the Father of the Nation that we will not let go in vain the sacrifice of him and the lakhs of martyrs. The people of Bangladesh will move around the world keeping their heads high,” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu's January 10, 1972 speech has all the guidelines required to run an independent and sovereign state.
"The January 10, 1972 speech of Bangabandhu at the Racecourse Maidan on his return to the country from Pakistani captivity has all the required guidelines to run an independent and sovereign state," she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had made all the organisations fit for an independent and sovereign country alongside building a war ravaged country empty handed.