Give me another chance to serve
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday sought public support for another term in power, pledging a facelift of the country through massive development work.
â€œGive me one more chance. I will give the country a facelift through massive development work and will make it free of corruption,â€ she told a rally at Bangabandhu Park in Barisal city organised by the BNP-led 18-party alliance.
â€œIf I fail to do that, I'm giving you my word, I'll accept any punishment,â€ added the former premier.
The opposition alliance has been campaigning for the restoration of the recently-abolished caretaker government system to oversee the general elections.
In an apparent reference to the allies of the Awami League in the ruling grand alliance government, Khaleda said, â€œCome out of the control of thieves.
Otherwise, you will also have to shoulder the responsibility of its (government's) failures and corruption.â€
The opposition leader said no election would be allowed to take place under the Awami League government. â€œThe election will be held only under a non-partisan and neutral government.â€
She alleged that the Awami League had done nothing for the welfare of the people. â€œHave a look and see the call of people. They want an election under a non-party and neutral government,â€ Khaleda said.
â€œThe government will have to be compelled to quit power,â€ she said, adding, â€œWe need to wage stronger movement against the blood sucker of the people.â€
Claiming that unemployment was rising, Khaleda promised a creation of jobs and bringing in more foreign investment in the country.
â€œForeigners are not showing interest in investing here because we are not getting an investment environment. We will ensure increased foreign investment in the country to create more jobs,â€ she said.
She also urged youths to reject the Awami League.
Assuring the future generation of better lives, the BNP chief said, â€œI do not have any high desire at this stage. We just want to see our future generation smiling always with the required access to education and jobs.â€
She pledged to make education for female students free up to degree-level.
Khaleda said, â€œAwami League means famine, AL means terrorism, killings and looting. People are in a critical stage as they are passing bad days due to unabated corruption, and price hike of essentials and utility bills.â€
She alleged that the present government had politicised police and civil administration, including the judiciary. â€œPeople these days are being deprived of justice. Police cannot play a neutral role because of the government's intervention. The administration has become dysfunctional.â€
Khaleda also came down heavily on Bangladesh Chhatra League, the pro-Awami League student body, saying it had turned a â€œmonsterâ€.
They are continuously killing people, kidnapping innocent children and looting people's assets. â€œEven today, Chhatra League activists attacked the teachers. No one is safe in the hands of this government.â€
Branding the ruling party as a â€œgreat liar and world thiefâ€, Khaleda said the World Bank had to cancel fund allocation for the Padma bridge for the government's taking advance commission through graft.
â€œWe'll build the Padma bridge, if voted to power, with two additional bridges on River Padma,â€ she said.
The BNP chairperson also criticised the government for the alleged stock market scam. â€œWhenever Awami League comes to power, the share market sees such collapse.â€
Accusing the government of patronising terrorism, Khaleda said, â€œThey [AL] are giving arms to their activists [of Awami League, Chhatra League and Juba League]. They kidnapped kid Parag and realised Tk 50 lakh as ransom.â€
She also alleged that there was no real investigation of sensational incidents including that of the Pilkhana carnage. â€œWe'll ensure fair investigation of the BDR incident. No one will be spared.â€
Khaleda assured the people of Barisal that BNP, if voted to power, would build Kuakata and Cox's Bazaar as full-fledged tourism centres to attract tourists from both home and abroad.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, ASM Hannan Shah, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moin Khan, Opposition Chief Whip Zainal Abdin Farroque, LDP president Col (retd) Oli Ahmed, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Mujibur Rahman also spoke at the rally with Barisal city BNP President Mojibur Rahman Sorwar in the chair.
Khaleda left Barisal for Dhaka by road after resting awhile at the local Circuit House for half an hour.