Centring the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of ruling Awami League, the entire Jashore town on Thursday turned into a place of euphoria with the enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands of people.
Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina on Thursday addressed a grand rally at Jashore Stadium.
District AL organised the huge mass gathering at the Jashore Stadium where Sheikh Hasina delivered her address after five years to begin her party's electoral campaign for the 12th parliamentary election likely to be held in 2024.
It was Sheikh Hasina's first appearance at a public gathering outside Dhaka after over 27 months since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Pinning upon the public rally of the prime minister, the entire Jashore turned into a town of jubilation.
The town was in festivity while people of all strata of life as well as leaders and activists of AL became enthusiastic. Arrival of Sheikh Hasina enthralled the leaders and activists not only in Jashore but also the entire southern region.
On the arrival of the prime minister, hundreds of thousands of people thronged the rally ground at district stadium 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 town turned into a human sea before the arrival of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the stage made in the shape of a boat at 2:38 PM.
Earlier, from the morning, mass people, women and supporters were seen marching towards the venue in processions chanting slogans "Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu" and holding colourful placards, banners, festoons, wearing colourful T-shirts, cap 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 individuals 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 associated bodies from different districts of Khulna division and adjoining areas of Jashore joined the rally with a fleet of reserve buses, pickups, motorcycles while many were seen joining the rally on foot.
A group of people, who came from Manirumpur Upazila, 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 including Daratana More, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Garibshah Roads and other areas.
AL leaders said in Jashore stadium, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had addressed a public meeting on December 26, 1972.
His elder daughter Sheikh Hasina delivered her address at the public meeting on the same field after 50 years.
Five years ago, Sheikh Hasina last addressed the election rally at Jashore Eidgah ground on December 31, 2017.