All parties to join polls, PM tells Rushanara

British PM Rushanara Ali and Sheikh Hasina
Visiting British PM's Trade Envoy Rushanara Ali, MP met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gono Bhaban in Dhaka on Monday, July 23, 2018. Photo: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today hoped that all political parties will join the next parliamentary elections to be held in the year-end.

She expressed the hope when visiting British PM's Trade Envoy Rushanara Ali, MP met her at her official residence Ganobhaban.

Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

"There were discussions on the polls. The Prime Minister hoped that all will join the election," he said quoting the PM as saying.

Sheikh Hasina said the Election Commission conducted more than 6,000 local body elections and by-elections under her government, which were free and fair. "The ruling party won some polls, while opposition some others."

The Prime Minister said democracy in the UK is moving on uninterruptedly, but in Bangladesh it was disrupted by military rulers. "Many welfare-oriented activities had been stopped, too."

About developing the country's railway services, Hasina said her government has a plan to introduce bullet trains from Dhaka to Chattogram, Sylhet, Dinajpur and Barishal.

Hasina said there will be Dhaka-Payra rail connectivity with British collaboration and the British company that first constructed the rail line in this Subcontinent will set up it.

She recalled the British government's collaboration in Bangladesh's IT development and energy sector during the first tenure of her government.

Hasina apprised Rushanara of her government's steps taken so far to spread education and is providing financial support to mothers of poor students.

Rushanara Ali said they are committed to building strong trade relations with Bangladesh and mentioned that Brexit will not affect Bangladesh in case of its trade with the UK.

She highly praised the development of Bangladesh in different socio-economic indexes.

Prime Minister's daughter and noted Autism activist Saima Wazed Hossain, Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Md Nojibur Rahman and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake were present.

Rushanara Ali arrived here on Saturday evening on a five-day visit to discuss how trade and investment ties between the two countries can be strengthened further.