Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged people to exercise their voting rights in the January 5 national election and resist those who would try to foil the polls.
"Inshallah, the election will surely be held in Bangladesh. Casting vote is the rights of people, and I urge all to cast their votes spontaneously," she said.
Hasina made the remarks while addressing a party workers' meeting at Shilpakala Academy in Kotalipara of Gopalganj as part of her electioneering in two districts, reports UNB.
The premier sought votes for “boat”, the election symbol of Awami League, to re-elect her party and give them scope to complete the unfinished tasks and continue the development works.
At least 154 candidates in the elections scheduled for January 5 have already won unopposed as the BNP-led opposition alliance and former Awami League ally Jatiya Party refrained from taking part.
With “contest” in just 146 constituencies, several foreign organisations and countries refused to send election observers for the polls citing security concerns, and the fact it was not an all-inclusive election.
The opposition, demanding restoration of the caretaker government system, has been enforcing long hartals and blockades which have turned violent.
Hasina yesterday came down heavily on the opposition for indiscriminately felling trees across the country and killing people in the name of blockade.
"It seems that the opposition is out there to deforest the country," Hasina, also the chief of AL, told her audience.
Turning to the war crimes trial, she alleged that the BNP-Jamaat-Shibir alliance was hatching various plots and crafting strategies to protect the war criminals and foil the trial.
Referring to the recent resolution adopted by Pakistan parliament following the execution of war criminal Quader Mollah, the AL chief said, the opposition leader did not utter a word soon after the execution.
"But after Mollah's execution, Khaleda Zia had gone for more blockades being shocked at the hanging of Mollah.
"We have strongly condemned the Pakistan parliament's resolution to this end and after that the opposition leader in a press conference said that she was shocked …
"Now the question is: was she shocked at the Pakistani resolution or at the hanging of Mollah? It seems from her words Khaleda was shocked at the hanging of Mollah," she said.
About Thursday's bomb attack on a police van in Rajshahi where a policeman was killed and several others were injured, the premier blamed BNP-Jamaat-Shibir men for the attack.
"What is the fault of those policemen? Was it because they only act upon the government orders? Some opposition leaders gave orders for unleashing such attacks as they only know how to kill people," she said.
AL leaders Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Sheikh Helal and Sheikh Kabir Hossain, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Addressing a public rally at Louhajang University College ground in Munshiganj, Hasina said, "It is BNP's choice to boycott election, but the party has no right to foil the polls."
The premier was electioneering in favour of the ruling party candidate Shagufta Yasmin Emily.
Later at a public rally at Srinagar Stadium in Munshiganj, the AL chief urged people to go to the polling centres and cast their votes.
"You should have the preparations to resist if anyone tries to foil the election," she said.
Hasina alleged that the BNP along with its close ally Jamaat had been conducting killing, arson and looting in the name of blockade.
She also said there would be no place for these killers on the soil of Bangladesh and everyone would have to come forward to resist them.