Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday described the recently held Cumilla City Corporation (CuCC) election as an example of fair polls and said her government has been working to keep up voting rights of the people.
“People exercised their voting rights in the Cumilla City Corporation election spontaneously amid festivity. They had been able to vote for the candidates of their choice. I think it is an example (of fair polls) in election history. We’ve been taking all required measures so that the masses can enjoy their voting rights,” she added.
The Prime Minister was addressing virtually the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected mayor and councilors of CuCC, held at the Osmani Smriti auditorium, joining from her official Ganobhaban residence in the capital.
Greeting wholeheartedly the newly elected mayor and councilors, she asked them to work with honesty and dedication for the development of every individual and locality irrespective of those who voted for them and who did not.
“Don’t consider who voted for you or not. Rather it is your duty to ensure the socio-economic development of every person and equal advancement of every area and you have to attach priority to make sure balanced development,” she added.
The Prime Minister said that the countrymen are enjoying all sorts of their rights, adding, “Their basic rights, voting rights and democratic rights will remain ensured. It’s our only goal and we’ve been working to this end.’’
She said her government wants the socio-economic development of Bangladesh through maintaining the democratic environment.
In the function, Awami League nominated candidate Arfanul Haque Rifat, who beat his nearest rival and immediate past mayor Monirul Haque Sakku in the election held on June 15 last, was sworn in as the mayor of Cumilla City Corporation and the Prime Minister virtually administered his oath.
While 36 elected councillors including nine women for reserved seats were sworn in and LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam administered their oath.
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, said her party was formed to address injustice and has been working for the establishment of the people's rights since its formation.
The Premier said the era of nowadays is mainly technology based and most of the countries use technology and electoral voting machines in their election.
She recalled the AL's contribution to reform and strengthen the electoral process by proposing to introduce transparent ballot boxes and preparation of electoral voter lists with photographs.
The Prime Minister said that they have been working for the development of the people of every area across the country and the people are now getting its benefit, reiterating that grassroots level people are in the centre of her government's all development programmes.
She asked the newly elected public representatives to keep in mind on how much people and the country will benefit from the development projects to be taken up or designed.
"You should discharge your duty and responsibility accordingly so the trust of the people in you doesn't get hurt. You'll have to make the faith stronger through your works for their welfare by keeping the trust intact,'' she said.
In this connection, she said a TK 1538-crore project titled 'Cumilla City Corporation's Integrated Infrastructure Development' is now being implemented after getting the ECNEC approval for sustainable development of Cumilla.
About development works regarding the waste management, electricity generation from wastes, and construction of bus and truck terminals in the Cumilla City, she asked the newly elected public representatives to make sure that the projects are being implemented properly.
"Keep one word in your mind that if you work with honesty, the people will get benefits and a huge number of people will vote for you," she said.
The Prime Minister asked the people to exercise austerity in consuming goods including fuels - petrol and diesel-- and electricity due to soaring the prices of essentials under the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.
She also asked the people to grow more crops and not leave a single inch of arable land uncultivated to avert food autarky as many countries are now facing.
In the wake of the fresh wave of Covid-19 infection, the PM asked the people to follow the health protocol accordingly and take booster doses of the Coronavirus vaccines.