The city of Chattogram on Sunday became a place of euphoria with enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands of people amid the grand rally of Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina.
Chattogram City and North and South District AL organised the huge mass gatherings at the railway Polo Ground where Sheikh Hasina delivered her address after a long time.
It was Sheikh Hasina's second appearance in the public gathering outside Dhaka following the rally in Jashore on November 24 after over 27 months since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Pinning upon the public rally of the prime minister, the entire Chattogram city turned into a town of jubilation.
The city was in festivity while people from all walks of life as well as leaders and activists of AL became enthusiastic. Arrival of Sheikh Hasina enthralled the leaders and activists not only in Chattogram but also the entire southern region.
On the arrival of the Prime Minister, hundreds of thousands of people throng the rally ground at Chattogram from early morning and within few hours, the ground became full to the brim.
The crowd then spilled over the surrounding areas, roads and empty places, meaning the city turned into a human sea before arrival of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the stage at 03:05pm which was made in the shape of a boat.
Earlier, since the morning, mass people, women and supporters were seen marching towards the venue in procession chanting slogans "Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu" and holding colourful placards, banners, festoons, wearing colourful T-shirts, caps on heads, head bands, beating drums, carrying election symbol boat as well as national and party flags.
Women in large and small groups as well as individually waited in the queue at the gate with smiling faces to enter the venue.
Hundreds of thousands of leaders and followers of Awami League and its associate bodies from different districts of Chattogram division and adjoining areas joined the rally in fleet of reserve buses, pickups, motorcycles while many were seen joining the rally on foot.
A group of people, who came from Sandeep, said they arrived at the venue early to secure their place in the front row. Due to a huge crowd, they feared that they might not be able to enter the venue if they were late, they added.
Colourful arches and gates have been constructed on various roads of the town with the posters and banners of the prime minister. AL leaders set up banners, balloons, festoons and posters welcoming the prime minister and the party chief in various areas of the city including , Kazir Dewri, Halishahar, Lalkhan Bazar, Tiger Pass, Dewan Hat, Kadamtali, New Market, Anderkilla and other areas.
Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) has carried out beautification works on different roads ahead of the rally, including cleaning and painting footpaths, decorating flyovers with colourful lights and renovating dilapidated roads in different areas.
From the morning at the Polo Ground, local singers and cultural activists performed till the beginning of the rally to cheer up the crowd.
AL leaders said that the Prime Minister in the recent party forum meeting expressed her intention to give more time to the party from now on. The AL chief plans to visit different districts in phases before the 12th National Election. As part of this, the first public meeting was held at Jashore Stadium on November 24 where she apparently started her party's electoral campaign for the 12th parliamentary election likely to be held in 2024.
After the today's rally, she will address as the chief guest the party rally on December 7 at the Sheikh Kamal Cricket Stadium in Cox's Bazar.
In these public meetings, the party president gives new messages to the people as well as AL leaders and activists.
Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in Chattogram on a day-long visit to attend a number of programmes.
During the visit, the Prime Minister attended the President Parade-2022 at Bangladesh Military Academy in Bhatiary here.
In the afternoon, the Awami League President addressed at Railway Polo Ground on a 160 feet long stage built in the shape of a boat.
The government has taken massive development scheme for Chattogram which is now under implementation.
These are Bangabandhu Industrial park at Mirersarai, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel beneath Karnaphuli river, China Economic Zone, Korean EPZ, four projects in Maheshkhali —- Economic Zone, LNG Terminal, coal based power plant and deep sea port, rail track from Chattogram to Cox’s Bazar, up gradation of Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar road into four lane, flyover on Lalkhan to airport road and bay terminal at Chattogram port.
The premier also inaugurated 29 development projects, while laid foundation stones of six schemes.