Habibullah Mizan
The popularity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with her government has significantly gone up at home and abroad after her nice handling of dialogues with opposition alliances.
According to party insiders, most of her party colleagues and cabinet members had directly opposed the dialogue with Jatiya Oikyafront leaders saying that they were hatching conspiracies against Sheikh Hasina’s government from the very beginning.
Most of the senior Awami League leaders repeatedly reminded their party president Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that BNP rewarded the assassins of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Not only this, its chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Zia jointly masterminded the deadly 21 August grenade attack to kill Sheikh Hasina along with all the central leaders.
But ignoring all, Sheikh Hasina instantly accepted the dialogue proposal and sat in talks with the persons, who were making plots to unseat her. She said, “As a prime minister of the country I cannot keep my doors closed for some people, I have to listen to all to make a correct judgment.” Even in the dialogue with Oikyafront at Ganobhaban, the official residence of the Prime Minister, the Awami League chief showed her utmost heartiest desire to make the dialogue successful forgetting her bitter experiences and sufferings inflicted by the BNP itself.
She not only had dinner with the Oikyafront leaders, but also allowed them to deliver their speech uninterruptedly. She has taken notes from their speeches and in her concluding speech, she expressed her willingness to continue the dialogue process if the Oikyafront wants.
After the dialogue, Sheikh Hasina has so far not made any comments which may disrupt the dialogue. Finally, she again responded to the proposal of Oikyafront to sit in the second round of talks on Tuesday.
Due to her eagerness to accommodate all irrespective of political affiliation, Sheikh Hasina and her government have widely been appreciated globally.
According to the latest survey results, Awami League is expected to get 173 seats alone and with the 14-party alliance, the number rises to 202. The survey also reported BNP to get 83 seats in the upcoming national election. Other political parties will get 15 seats, according to the survey results. Responsible sources of AL said that it was the final survey of AL before the election schedule. However, before the election, AL will conduct another survey in the electoral areas.
However, BNP leaders have repeatedly been claiming that if the next elections are held in a free and fair manner, the ruling Awami League will face an overwhelming defeat.
But one after another, reputed global opinion organisations in their survey reports have predicted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League will return to power with yet another landslide victory owing to their massive development activities and initiatives undertaken through mainly targeting the ultra-poor classes of society.
Highlighting several innovative initiatives taken by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which were mainly aimed to fight poverty and ensure a better life for underprivileged people, the globally recognised survey firms have firmly assumed that her government will be again voted to office by the people of the country.
Leading economists and political observers are also supporting the survey reports, which are clearly keeping Sheikh Hasina in the lead with public support.
Talking to Bangladesh Post, eminent economist and researcher Dr Abul Barkat said, “I totally agree with these survey reports.”
He opined that the Awami League will emerge electorally successful again as it is directing the country towards development.
AL joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif also told Bangladesh Post that due to the mature and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the people will again give their mandate to her.
The nation is in favour of development and progress, he said.
Mahbubul Alam Hanif, also the spokesman of the party, said people are benefiting from the development activities which Sheikh Hasina’s government has successfully implemented.
Responding to another question, he said, “Not only local people, the international community too is also hailing her leadership qualities.”
Considering these all achievements, the latest survey report carried by the International Republican Institute (IRI) said, around 66 percent of the respondents prefer Sheikh Hasina as the prime minister.
It also found that 64 percent of them have a favourable opinion about the Awami League-led government.
The Washington-based organisation conducted the survey between April 10 and May 21 this year.
A majority of people in the country have said the country is marching ahead in the right direction under the leadership of PM Hasina, while a sense of high optimism is demonstrated over the current economic situation, said IRI, a non-profit and non-partisan organisation, which is committed to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide.
The 33-page survey, titled “National Survey of Bangladesh Public Opinion”, said a staggering 62 percent people believe the country is going ahead on the right path, and as many as 69 percent people are satisfied with the current state of the economy.
On a similar note, the survey said overwhelming support is evident for the government’s effort to ensure public security, given that around 68 percent people are satisfied with current security situation. It added that 57 percent people believe the security situation will improve in the coming days.
An earlier survey, conducted by IRI, illustrated a similar tenor of public opinion on the country’s progress.
Released in January 2016, the poll divulged 64 percent of the respondents thought the country is heading in the right direction.
Another survey, conducted and released in 2015 by the British Council, ActionAid Bangladesh and the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, showed 75 percent of Bangladeshi youths see the country as a more prosperous nation in the next 15 years and 60 percent think it is heading in the right direction.