Huge reception awaits PM Sheikh Hasina in Rajshahi

Published : 28 Jan 2023 03:37 PM | Updated : 28 Jan 2023 03:37 PM

The ruling Awami League has finished all preparations to hold what it called to be 'the largest-ever political mass gathering' in Rajshahi at the historic Madrasah Maidan on Sunday.

AL Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to address the rally as the chief guest nearly five years after her addressing at a public rally in Rajshahi in 2018.  AL Rajshahi metropolitan and the district units are hosting the rally ahead of the next Parliamentary Election. The AL rally has been called against the backdrop of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party holding divisional rallies across the country. 

Doublu Sarker, General Secretary of Rajshahi Metropolitan unit of AL said ‘ All preparations have been completed to hold the largest AL-backed political gathering in Rajshahi’.

In this connection, he further said they had been preparing for the past one month to make the PM's rally a success and held various programmes including meetings, processions, and rallies at every ward, union, upazilas and district levels in the Rajshahi division.

He said that the Rajshahi rally would not only be a gathering of the party leaders and workers but also a gathering of common people as a huge enthusiasm and spontaneity among the common people is being noticed from them to join the rally. Meanwhile, at a press conference AL Presidium Member and RCC Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton said that the Prime Minister would inaugurate twenty-five development projects and laid the foundation stones of six more development projects in Rajshahi.

He said that they will not demand anything from the prime minister this time as she had done a lot for the people of the Rajshahi region. ‘The people of Rajshahi will express their gratitude to her this time’, he added. On Friday morning, AL presidium members Md Abdur Rahman and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, office secretary and prime minister's special assistant Biplob Barua, executive members Nurul Islam Thandu, Begum Akhter Jahan, Rajshahi AL organizing secretary SM Kamal Hossain,  Rajshahi metropolitan AL acting president Mohammad Ali Kamal, and district AL acting president Anil Kumar Sarkar visited the rally venue.

After visiting the rally venue, Jahangir Kabir Nanak told journalists that several millions of people would join the rally to listen to the speech of the Prime Minister.

‘The people of the northern region are waiting eagerly. We believe BNP’s leaders and activists will also attend this rally. Because, those who do BNP’s politics are not citizens of any island separated from this country’, he said.

In a reply to a question about BNP’s allegation of police harassment of their party leaders and activists ahead of AL rally, Jahangir Kabir Nanak said that BNP leader Iqbal Mahmud Tuku always lied like this.

‘They are born to hide the truth. They have tried to distort the history of Bangladesh; they tried to erase the name of Father of the Nation’, he added. Later, information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud also attended a view exchange meeting with the AL Rajshahi city and district units’ leaders and activists at the rally venue in the afternoon.Meanwhile, the whole Rajshahi city has been covered with digital banners, welcoming Sheikh Hasina and highlighting various positive and developmental activities of the incumbent government.

The Rajshahi City Corporation has also repaired and painted the dilapidated roads in the city ahead of the event. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in the city to make sure that the rally is held smoothly while the Rajshahi Metropolitan Police set out a traffic plan and requested the citizens to avoid some specific roads on Sunday.

RMP commissioner Anisur Rahman informed that around 3,000 police would be deployed in the city areas on Sunday to ensure security of the rally. ‘We have installed CCTV cameras at the Madrasah Maidan and in adjacent areas to ensure security,’ he said.

The police commissioner also said that there would be naval police patrolling in the Padma River as the rally venue was next to the river bank while members of Border Guard Bangladesh had already strengthened their patrolling in the borders. The RMP has also imposed a ban on carrying, using, possessing and selling of all kinds of firearms, explosives and crackers, and flying drones without prior permission from 6 am of January 27 to 6 am of January 30, 2023 in the city. Selling and purchasing of any type of drug items, including local and foreign wine, spirit, and alcohol, have also been banned. Shops and bars of the drink items have been asked to shut their business during the time.

Meanwhile, seven special trains have been arranged for those attending the Rajshahi rally on Sunday, said Bangladesh Railway general manager (west) Asim Talukdar. Rajshahi Railway station manager Abdul Karim said they would operate seven special trains on seven separate routes including Rajshahi to Natore, Rajshahi to Joypurhat, Rajshahi to Santahar, Rajshahi to Dhalanchar, and Rajshahi to Sirajganj on Sunday.