Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Dr Kamal Hossain exchange greetings at the end of the second round of dialogue between 14-party alliance and Jatiya Oikyafront at Ganobhaban on Wednesday. Photo: PID

Putting emphasis on maintaining democratic trend in the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said, “We want a peaceful election in the country and the people to elect their representatives as per their choice”.
The Premier said the country’s people and those who believe in the spirit of the Liberation War do not want to see the anti-liberation forces in power again, reports BSS.
“We tried war criminals and executed the verdict of the court. So, the people of the country and those who believe in the spirit of the Liberation War won’t accept the return of the anti-liberation forces to power,” she said in her introductory speech in the dialogue between the Awami-led 14-party alliance and the Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) that kicked off at Ganabhaban in the evening.
She said the country will be more prosperous and developed if the development spree and democratic trend continue.
Sheikh Hasina said 6,000 elections, including the local government polls, were held in the last 10 years of her government and all the elections were staged in a free, fair and neutral manners. “Whatever results came from the elections, we’ve accepted those,” she said.
The prime minister referred to the brutal repression and torture on the Awami League leaders and workers after the 2001 polls.
“The BNP-Jamaat nexus unleashed terrorism in the country and inflicted torture on the AL leaders and workers from 2001-2005 in the way the Pakistani occupation forces did in 1971,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the BNP government filed a dozen cases against her while the then caretaker government lodged 5/6 cases.
After coming to power in 2007, she said, the caretaker government wanted to cling to power and proposed her not to contest elections.
Sheikh Hasina continued: “But at that time we strongly said the elections will be held in the country and those whom the people will want come to power”.
The premier said the global recession was continuing when the Awami League assumed office in 2008. “Despite that adversity, we took the country forward by making massive development,” she said.
“If you see the picture of Bangladesh’s uplift from 2009 to 2018, you will be compelled to acknowledge that we have been able to make tremendous development in the country,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government had been able to do a tough work like restoration of the Liberation War spirit and trial of war criminals within this time.
“We’ve also been able to execute the verdict against war criminals,” she said.
Highlighting her government’s tremendous successes in different fields, the prime minister said the country achieved 7.86 percent GDP growth and reduced inflation to 5.4 percent due to various steps of the government.
“We’ve been able to bring down poverty rate to 21 percent from 41 percent and due to these successes, Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government resolved land boundary dispute with India as well as maritime boundary problem with India and Myanmar peacefully and maintaining good relations with them.
The prime minister recalled that the Awami League and LDA leaders waged movement past together on the streets. “The LDA leaders played an important role in restoration of democracy in the country,” she said.
“The talks between the two alliances on the 11th national elections began at Banquet Hall of Ganabhaban at 7:15 pm,” an official familiar with Ganabhaban said.
Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina led a 23-member delegation of the 14-party alliance, while a 16-member LDA team was led by CPB President Muzahidul Islam Selim.
The LDA comprised of eight leftist parties. They are Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Basod), Ganasanghati Andolan, Bangladesher Biplobi Workers Party, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Marxist), Bangladesh United Communist League, Ganatantrik Biplobi Party and Samajtantrik Andolan.