Dhaka, Mar 18 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged the people of the country to remain vigil so that anti-liberation forces, killers, terrorists and militants cannot assume state power again for playing with their fate.
She made the call while addressing a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on the occasion of the 99th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is the country of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “In this Bangladesh, people’s rights will be upheld. Inshallah, we’ll build a Golden Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty.”
She said the government has already declared 2020-21 as the Mujib Year and will celebrate the year in a befitting manner. “We’ve constituted a committee. Preparations will have to begin at all levels, including unions, to celebrate the Mujib Year,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League chief, said Bangabandhu gave the country’s people independence. “We have to uphold this independence and make the country a prosperous one freeing it from hunger and poverty which was the dream of the Father of the Nation,” she said, expressing her belief that the dream will be materialised.
She said Bangabandhu founded Bangladesh, setting up all basic structures required for its economic, cultural and political fronts.
The Prime Minister said the very birth of Bangabandhu was necessary for the emergence of independent Bangladesh. “People had confusions whether the birth of Bangladesh was possible without the birth of the great leader,” she added.
Since 1948, the Prime Minister said, Bangabandhu was preparing his people for independence defying all the pressures, intimidations and threats of the Pakistani rulers. “Bangabandhu had repeatedly been put behind bars, but nothing could bar him from heading towards his goal.”
Hasina said the Father of the Nation had made every step forward very carefully in his long struggle to independence thinking that any wrong step could impede people’s aspirations.
Talking about the election system which was introduced during Bangabandhu’s tenure, she said under that system, the government had been responsible for the campaign of candidates. “In a poster, the government used to print the names and electoral symbols of all candidates. As a result, the candidate who used to reach people most gained their trust and used to be elected,” she said.
The Prime Minister said two by-elections were held at that time in Kishoreganj and Patuakhali under the system. “In Kishoreganj, Syed Nazrul Islam’s brother was defeated to a schoolteacher,” she said, adding that had that system existed now, there would have been no bloodshed and killings which the country will realise gradually.
About the December-30 election where the BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront suffered a debacle, she said the government in its last 10 years ensured development in all the sectors, including education, health, food security and communication, from the grassroots level. “People gave their verdict in favour of Awami League as peace and stability returned to their lives,” she said, adding that they rejected BNP and its alliance for their association with war criminals.
“How would BNP win the election after indulging in corruption, killings, siphoning of money and other misdeeds and selecting over 700 candidates for the 300 seats?” she said.
Awami League leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Ahmed Hossain, Advocate Qamrul Islam, Fazilatunnesa Indira and Ajmat Ullah, among others, spoke at the programme.
Prof Dr Syed Anwar Hossain focused on different aspects of Bangabandhu’s life.