People can vote freely in next polls: PM

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reiterated her firm conviction that the people of Bangladesh would cast vote independently in the next general elections.

“The election commission (EC) may announce the election date and time (election schedule) in one or two days—the people will cast their votes freely,” she said.

The premier said this while virtually inaugurating and laying foundation stone of 10,041 structures under 157 development projects including Sheikh Hasina Swarani (Purbachal Expressway) and first elevated expressway in Chattogram with around one lac crore from her official Ganabhaban residence here.

Under the projects, 4644 are various development infrastructures and 5397 houses for the landless and homeless people under the Ashrayan-2 project across the country under 24 ministries and divisions.

The prime minister said, “The next election is approaching nearer. If the people cast vote for us, we will come to the power. In case of otherwise, we will have no regret for that”.

She said the Awami League never comes to power by undemocratic way, referring to the assumption of power through 2014 and 2018 elections.

The premier also thanked the people for voting her party to power time and again and thus giving the chance to serve the nation.

She said the BNP-Jamaat alliance does not want to take part in the election rather to create an unstable situation in the country by carrying out arson violence to land people in sufferings.

She also said her government has taken all measures including enacting new law to make the election free and fair.

She said, “We have ensured the voting rights of the people through struggle.”

Sheikh Hasina also said that the election commission introduced transparent ballot boxes and prepared voter list with photographs following the proposals of the Awami League.

“They (the BNP-Jamaat alliance) got only 30 seats (in 2008 general election which was accepted by all). Then, you say, will they be interested in participate in the next election,” she said.

The prime minister said they have no intention to be in the next election rather they are out to foil the polls.

“They are trying to leave the people in suffering foiling the election by creating anarchic situation,” she said.

She continued that the BNP-Jamaat have started unleashing arson terrorism by setting fire to vehicles when the people are living in peace and comfort and the country’s development have been progressing at full speed.

The premier reiterated her call to the countrymen to prevent arson terrorists, saying good sense should come to the arsonists and they must have to leave arson terrorism.

“I would say that may good sense come to the arson attackers, and they have to stop the destructive activities and arson attacks,” she said.

“We’re still seeing the suffering of those who were burnt at the arson attacks in 2013 and 2014. So, we don’t want people to suffer again,” she said

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives Minister Md. Tazul Islam, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder were present on the dais.

Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah conducted the event.

A total of 101 centres across the country were connected virtually to the programme.

A video documentary on the overall development of Bangladesh under the current Awami League government was screened at the function.

Among the development schemes opened by the premier, 15 projects including the Purbachal Expressway, which was recently renamed as Sheikh Hasina Swarani, were completed under the housing and public works ministry while different agencies of the shipping ministries are implementing 15 projects.

The four projects are under the primary and mass education ministry.

Under one of the four projects, the authorities have constructed buildings for 2023 government primary schools across the country.

The premier also opened at least 1,259 buildings of different educational institutions under the education ministry across the country among the development projects.

The four day-care centres implemented under a project of the women and children affairs ministry and two technical training centres in Manikganj and Narayanganj built under a project of expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry were, as well, inaugurated.

In Dhaka, the long-awaited 12.5 km Purbachal expressway named after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (from Kuril flyover point in Dhaka to Kanchan Bridge in Narayanganj) was constructed at a cost of Taka 14,000 crore.

The expressway have no stopover points, traffic signals, or any other obstacles, so vehicles can ply the entire length between as little as six or seven minutes. It is expected to ease road communication between the capital, Chattogram, and Sylhet

The premier also opened 100 feet wide and 26km long canals in both sides of the Sheikh Hasina Swarani from Kuril to Balu River.

Constructions of 6.20km long eight lane expressway, four lanes service road, six lanes expressway from Balu river to Kanchan in Narayanganj and four lanes service road were completed.

Under the project, 184.79 acres of land was acquired.

Construction of five intersections over Sheikh Hasina Swarani, 12 bridges, six underpasses, 13 other bridges on the canals, 36.8 km walkways, 12.5km boundary wall, two sluice gates and 11 sub stations have been completed alongside installation of 1170 street lights under the project.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud had built 51 houses for the landless and homeless people in his locality with his own initiative.

In Chattogram, three development projects of the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) and one of the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) involving Taka 6000 crore were opened.

The CDA projects are -16 km-long Chattogram elevated expressway, Foujderhat-Bayezid Link Road, Bakalia Express Road.

The CDA projects were named after former city mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, Jane Alam Donash and Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib.

The elevated expressway in Chattogram was constructed at a cost of Tk 4,298.95 crore.

The CPA constructed the Patenga Container Terminal at a cost of Taka 1230 crore with its own finance.

Sheikh Hasina heavily criticised the BNP-Jamaat clique as school and college students can’t attend their final exams for the arson violence in the name of movement to dislodge the government.

The prime minister said the literacy rate was 45 percent during the BNP regime while the rate now stands at 76.6 percent.

About inauguration of the 157 development schemes across the country, she said the inaugural programme was held today aimed at opening of all the development schemes completed by the Awami League (AL) government.

She continued that the previous AL government during 1996-2001 tenure had done many development schemes including Gabkhan Bridge and Dhorola Bridge, but could not open many of those.

She said her party could not come to power through 2001 election despite getting maximum votes due to local and foreign conspiracies as she refused to sell gas.

Within one month of coming to power in 2001, Khaleda Zia opened Gabkhan Bridge over a big river which was built by the Awami League government, she added.

At the opening ceremony of the Bridge, Khaleda told that the Awami League government did not commit any development, the premier said, adding, “It seemed that she (Khaleda) built the Gabkhan Bridge over a big river within a month.”

Then BNP-Jamaat alliance government had turned Bangladesh into a country of terrorism, militancy and corruption by making Bangla Bhai-like militants and making Bangladesh champion in corruption for five times.

“BNP had only been able to make Bangladesh champion in corruption for five times,” she said.

The prime minister said the massive socio-economic development of Bangladesh have been carried out by her government in the last 15 years confronting man-made and natural disasters.

Bangladesh has now been considered as a model of development as the country has got the status of a developing nation in 2021 during the twin celebrations of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and golden jubilee of the country’s independence.

The prime minister said her government had made Bangladesh Digital and is now working to transform it into a developed, prosperous and a smart country by 2041.

“We have been working to fulfill the target with formulating specific plans,” she said.

The prime minister said they have been able to fulfill the 2018 electoral pledges by 2021 as they have accomplished development works with formulating specific plans.

“My target is to establish a dignified Bangladesh by materializing the dream of the Father of the Nation,” she said.


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