Seeking votes for her party in the upcoming election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the Awami League should stay in power at least for five more years so that no one can hamper the country's current pace of progress.
She made the comment while presiding over a discussion, arranged by the AL at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) marking the Victory Day.
Hasina said her party had prepared an economic plan to reduce poverty by another 5-6 percent before celebrating 'Mujib Year', marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu in 2020, and the golden jubilee of the country's independence in 2021.
The PM said that deviation from the truth and the right track could do no good to the people.
She also said she had immense confidence in the people of Bangladesh and that they would not allow anybody in the future to veer the country off the existing path of development and the spirit of the Liberation War.
Criticising the manifesto of the Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, Hasina said that, in it, they had committed to changing the “authoritarian regime”.
“What kind of change do they want to bring in the country?” she asked, remembering the emergence of militancy, terrorism, money laundering and corruption during the BNP-Jamaat regime from 2001-2006.
“They ruled the country for 39 out of 47 years after independence. But, what had they given to the people, excepting making their own fortune and amassing wealth at home and abroad?” Hasina questioned.
She further said, “Bangladesh is now regarded a model of development and its nationals are honoured with dignity abroad. So, I cannot understand where we have established totalitarianism.”
Hasina blasted the Jatiya Oikyofront for being “associated with the anti-liberation forces and giving nominations to the people convicted for corruption, militancy and war crimes.
“Theoretically, they talk big. But they have joined hands with all the evil forces. I don't want to mention names… I can only feel pity for them as they are derailed and purposeless,” she said.
The PM said a politician should do politics to serve the people. “But, the BNP looted public wealth when they were in power and killed people in arson attacks when they were in opposition,” she added.
“Our every step is focused on changing the lot of people, giving jobs to youths, creating business opportunities and exploring scopes of modern and vocational education,” she said.
One of the main successes of the Awami League government was that it instilled confidence in people about their capacity to do something for themselves and the society as well, the PM added.
AL advisory council member Tofail Ahmed, General Secretary Obaidul Quader and noted writer Muntassir Mamoon spoke, among others, at the discussion.