Sheikh Hasina, president of the Awami League, said on Saturday that aspirants from her party are running in the January 7 parliamentary polls to help make the vote participatory and peaceful.
She was addressing six public rallies in as many districts simultaneously through video links from her party’s Dhaka office at Tejgaon.
Hasina, who is also the prime minister, explained why the Awami League opened the electoral contest to the party’s aspirants who failed to get the party’s tickets this time.
“The reason behind this is that we want people’s participation in the election so they can cast their votes peacefully,” she said.
She asked all candidates, including the party-nominated candidates and the independent contestants, to go to every door to seek votes.
“Those who will win people’s votes will be the MPs,” she said.
The rallies, organised by the Awami League, were held virtually at the Public Library Field in Kushtia, Wazir Ali School and College Field in Jhenaidah, Satkhira Government High School in Satkhira, Zilla Stadium in Netrokona, and Sheikh Russell Stadium in Rangamati district, as well as Bamna and Patharghata upazilas in Barguna districts, from Bangladesh Awami League Office.
She once again said that she wants the election to be held in a peaceful manner where voters will exercise their rights properly.
“We want to secure democracy because if democracy prevails in a country, that country advances rapidly, and we have proved that,” said the AL chief.
She said that her party wants to sustain the country’s development momentum for the welfare of the people.
Hasina once again castigated the opposition BNP, which is boycotting the next month’s election, fearing it will be rigged by the Awami League.
“BNP did not come to the election, but in the name of resisting it, they have unleashed arson terrorism like in 2013 and 2014. They are now out in the field with their dangerous faces,” she said.
In this connection, she mentioned the recent incidents of train fires and the uprooting of tracks.
She questioned the leadership of the BNP, as Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman are both convicted in various cases, including corruption.
Hasina said that Tarique is doing fine in London playing gamble. “He is giving orders from there, and BNP leaders are killing people in Bangladesh,” she said.
She mentioned that although Kahleda is very sick, her son Tarique never came to see her.
If he has so much courage, let him come to the country, she said, adding that then the people of Bangladesh will avenge the killings of innocents.
Sheikh Hasina said that the BNP is not at all a political party. Its ally, Jamaat-e-Islami, is a party of war criminals, she said.
BNP is a terrorist party, while Jamaat is the war criminals’ party, she said, adding that “we have to keep the country free from war criminals and terrorists in order to continue the trend of development.”
She said that the country is not secure in the hands of terrorist BNP and war criminal Jamaat.
“Because they don’t believe in the country’s independence and the spirit of the War of Liberation, I am urging all to save the country and the nation from these menaces,” she said.
Hasina highlighted the successes of the successive Awami League governments since 2009.
As the Awami League has been in power since 2009, the country has changed a lot in the last 15 years, she said.
“We have attained recognition as a developing nation. We will have to advance further,” she said.
She said that the election will be fair, people will choose their desired candidates through the election, and democracy will be unhindered.
“My request to you all is that we continue the democratic process and maintain the development spree,” she added.
The prime minister warned that the Awami League will not allow anyone to play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of Bangladesh. “This has to be remembered.”
Senior party leaders were present in the Dhaka Awami League office, while the Awami League nominated candidates and other leaders attended from the six districts.