Seeking another term to complete the work of the mega projects, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her firm resolve to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country's independence during the tenure of the next Awami League government.
"Bangladesh will celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence in 2021, and the goal before us is that Bangladesh Awami League will celebrate it and build a hunger and poverty free country by staying in power," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said this in her introductory speech at a meeting of the party's Central Working Committee held at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.
The prime minister said the previous Awami League government in 1996-2001 implemented the fifth five-year plan, while the past government after coming to power in 2009 framed the sixth five-year plan.
"Now we're implementing the seventh five-year plan as well as the long-term perspective plan. We have taken these plans to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence by establishing Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty free country," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the 10-year perspective plan will be completed in 2020, the birth centenary year of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujbur Rahman.
"I want that the birth centenary of Bangabanadhu will be celebrated during the tenure of the next Awami League government," she hoped.
The premier said Awami League needs another term to implement the big and mega projects to turn Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021 and developed and prosperous one by 2041.
"We've undertaken mega projects in different sectors to establish Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country. To complete the schemes, we need another term," she said.
The Awami League president said if her party remains in power, the development of the people would be made and continuation of power will be maintained.
In this connection, she mentioned that the development programmes that the Awami League government launched in 2009 are continuing as the Awami League government assumed office again in 2014.
"The desired development of the country is not possible without continuation of the government," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that as the AL government stays in power since 2009, the GDP of the country reached 7.24 percent, the per capita income touched US Dollar 1602, the budget for the current fiscal is more than Tk 400,000 crore and 90 percent of the development budget comes from internal resources.
The prime minister said the people of Bangladesh will never face famine and suffer from hunger if the 10-year perspective plan is executed.
Talking about the country's democratic system, the prime minister said the 2008 and 2014 elections were held through a democratic process and the Election Commission conducted the polls independently.
To hold the polls, an assistant presiding officer had to give life at the hands of the BNP-Jamaat. Despite that, the commission conducted the polls smoothly, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the people of the country will cast their votes in the elections -- it is the freedom of the people.
"It is their liberty, their basic right, democratic and constitutional right and this constitutional right will continue. People will exercise their franchise and those for whom they will cast vote will come to power," she said.
Putting the ball in the court of the people, Sheikh Hasina said that the decision has to be taken by the people. "They have to take the decision whom they want and how they want," she said.
Terming the AL as the symbol of development, she said if AL comes to power it means the development of the county and change of people's fate.
The AL president said BNP resorted to unbridled corruption and plundering when it was in power. They torched 582 primary schools and burnt to death numerous people in the name of the movement, she said.
The people of the country didn't forget their graft and looting and will not forget it in future, she said, adding that Bangladesh has become champion in corruption for five times, the people will not certainly forget it.
Referring to the repression and torture on the Awami League leaders and workers by the BNP-Jamaat nexus, Sheikh Hasina said the people will have to be informed of their misdeeds.
The prime minister said the BNP-Jamaat clique carried out indescribable torture and repression on the opposition leaders and workers from 2001-2006.
The women and children were not spared from their torture, she said, adding they ransacked the Awami League office in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. "We didn't take any revenge," she said.
In this connection, she said, "We, the Awami League leaders and workers, are so liberal that we forget it. Even journalists and learned people and intellectuals forget what was the situation and how the people were tortured at that time."
The BNP comes to power to enjoy, not run the country and they unleash misrule and make political criminalization," she said, adding they destroyed the country's economy by opening 'Hawa Bhaban'.
About her government's steps to tackle flood, the prime minister said there is a possibility of a massive flood this year in the country.
"We have enough stock of food so that the people don't suffer. Despite that we're importing food so that we could reach food to the people timely and no party except Awami League thinks in advance for the people," she said.