Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said an unprecedented mass tide has been created in favour of ‘boat’ across the country on the occasion of the 12th national elections to be held on Sunday.
He made the remark while talking to journalists at Dhaka district AL office in the city’s Tejgaon this afternoon after a meeting with the election observation delegation of the OIC countries.
Earlier, in the morning, Quader held a meeting with a Commonwealth delegation at Sonargaon Hotel here.
Hoping that the 12th national elections would be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner environment, he said the election means a festival of democracy to the people of Bangladesh and this time it is not an exception.
“Ignoring the severe cold, the people have welcomed the election and taken part in the polls campaign. A mass tide has been created across the country in favour of boat,” the AL general secretary said.
He said 28 registered political parties are participating in the 12th general elections while there are 1,970 candidates in 299 seats. “Of them, 436 are independent candidates. A free, fair and participatory election is going to be held,” he added.
Mentioning that the Awami League is excited to see a significant number of foreign observers in the polls, Quader said many foreign journalists and observers have already arrived in Bangladesh.
“We are excited seeing that. They will observe a participatory election. We hope that the polls will be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner and they (observers) will present the actual scenario of polls before the world,” he said.
Noting that the people will vote in the 12th parliamentary elections without any fear, the AL general secretary said a free, fair and acceptable election will be presented to the nation on January 7.
“All will come to the polling stations. They will vote without any fear. Anyone obstructing the polls will be resisted,” he said.
Expressing surprise about the role of the United States (US) over the elections, he said the United States stated that it would impose sanction on those who would obstruct the polls.
“But BNP is openly obstructing the elections and enforcing hartals. In that case, why is the US not implementing its visa policy against BNP? That raises a question in our minds,” Quader said.
About the BNP’s hartal on the election day, he said hartal is now a obsolete tool in the politics of Bangladesh, while hartal and blockades now remain in the BNP’s programmes only but not in reality.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is now the 33rd economy in the world, the AL general secretary said per capita income of the country’s people has increased to US$ 2,793.
As per the pledge of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said, cent percent people of the country are getting electricity now.
In addition, Quader said, the poverty rate has decreased to only 18.7 percent, while extreme poverty to 5.7 percent and the average life expectancy of the people has increased to 72 years and 8 months.
Deputy Minister for Education Mahibul Hasan Chowdhury Naufel, AL Office Secretary Biplab Barua, AL Information and Research Secretary Dr Selim Mahmud, Finance Affairs Secretary Wasika Ayesha Khan, Central Committee Member Mohammad A Arafat, Chief Coordinator of Bangabandhu Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and AL Deputy Secretary Sayem Khan were, among others, present.