Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Bangladesh Awami League has successfully been able to retain its popularity even though it has been in power for a long time.
“Staying in power for a long time, very few parties or men can sustain popularity or work for the wel-fare of the people continuously, But Awami League has been able to do so. We’ve proved it,” she said.
The premier said this when leaders of AL and its associate bodies greeted her at Ganabhaban on the occa-sion of her 43rd homecoming day.
On May 17, 1981, AL President Sheikh Hasina returned home from India, after nearly six years in exile, following the brutal assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members by some misguided army officers on August 15, 1975.
Talking about AL’s steps to establish democracy and voting rights, and reform the electoral system, Hasina said those who were once vote riggers are now vocal on democracy and voting rights in the coun-try.
“Those who were the thieves and dacoits of votes (in the past) now want democracy and are talking about the voting rights. They were born in an illegal way. But we are to hear such words (lesion) from them,” she said.
The AL chief asked her party men not to consider such political rhetoric seriously rather stay beside the people, work for them to change their fortune and thus maintain the public trust and confidence in their party.
“We’ll have to retain the confidence of the people. The trust of the people is our only (source of) power. We’ve no other power except it.
She asked the party members to reorganize the party and its associate bodies stronger from the grassroots and stay alert so that the parties of terrorism, killing or war criminals can’t play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people anymore.
She said AL is the only party that thinks for the welfare of Bangladesh and others are the parties of plunderers.
“So, I would request you all to pay attention so that the parties of terrorism, killings or war criminals can’t play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of Bangladesh anymore,”
The PM said Bangladesh has gained success in every area including saving the environment, food pro-duction or protection of human rights, curbing militancy and terrorism. Bangladesh has also been able to display this success before the whole world, she said.
“Since we’ve truly made development with limited resources, a small land and a large population, Bang-ladesh is now getting dignity as a role model for development internationally ,” she added.
So, anti-liberation elements, war criminals, their successors and their local and international patrons would not like this progress of Bangladesh, she said.
Referring to the 2008 general election, she said the BNP-Jamaat alliance secured only 29 seats out of 300, while the AL-lead grand alliance gained the remaining others, proving the public perception wrong that the Awami League and BNP are the same and both are equally big parties.
Sheikh Hasina recalled her early days when she returned home from the 6-year exile and recollected the persons who assisted her in the tough days.
“Since then (1981), the people of the country and the Awami League have been my family,” she said.
The AL chief expressed gratitude to the men of AL and its associate bodies for extending their support to her while steering the party in the last 42 years.