Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a mammoth rally on Sheikh Lutfar Rahman Government Degree College ground at Kotalipara in Gopalganj on Wednesday. Photo: BSS

Habibullah Mizan from Gopalganj
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said it has been proved time and again that the country makes progress and the people lead a better life only when the AL remains in state power.
Pointing out that every work of her government is welfare-oriented she said Bangladesh is now marching towards development and prosperity as the government has adopted multifaceted plans.
There will be no poverty in Bangladesh and all villages will be turned into urban centres if her party is reelected, Sheikh Hasina said while addressing a mammoth rally on Sheikh Lutfar Rahman Government Degree College ground at Kotalipara in Gopalganj.
The prime minister said Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world as the continuity of the government was maintained. The AL president called upon the people to give a befitting reply to the anti-liberation elements, agents of war criminals and fire bombers by casting votes in favour of the ‘boat’ symbol.
“The next election is very important. Give a befitting reply by casting votes to ‘boat’ against those who have fielded elements of anti-liberation forces, war criminals and their agents, and fire bombers, to contest the polls,” Hasina said.
Carrying banners and posters inscribed with the portrait of Bangabandhu, tens of thousands of people from Gopalganj and adjacent districts thronged the ground since early afternoon.
Earlier, Hasina visited the grave of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara and offered special prayers there to mark the launching of polls campaign for her party.
Seeking votes for ‘boat’, the electoral symbol of the Awami League, she said, “Give the Awami League one more chance to serve the people.”
The AL president is contesting the polls from Gopalganj-3 (Tungipara-Kotalipara) and launched the party’s campaign from Kotalipara. It is for the first time, she launched the party’s campaign from Kotalipara.
Apart from the senior leaders, her sister Sheikh Rehana was also present on the stage at Kotalipara.
Hasina called upon the people to re-elect AL so that the anti-liberation forces, rajakars and fire-bombers cannot assume office.
“If they assume office, they will destroy the spirit of independence and hinder the country’s progress,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina urged the people to stay alert so that none can hinder the country’s ongoing progress.
None will be allowed to play drakes and ducks with the fate of the countrymen, she said.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her desire to materialise the dreams of Bangabandhu, who had fought all through his life to change the fate of the Bangalees.
“I want to fulfil the dream of Bangabandhu. I urge the people of the country to vote for Awami League-nominated candidates,” she said.
The AL president said that the country got its independence by casting votes for ‘boat’.
“Bangladesh now can live keeping its head high. So, I seek the votes from all. Nobody has been deprived by casting votes for boat,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina assured the countrymen of creating jobs, constructing houses for the poor and ensuring meals for all.
“No one remains homeless and passes the day without meals,” she said, adding that the basic needs will be ensured.
Referring to her return to the country after six years in exile, she said she came to Bangladesh with a lone goal to change the fate of the countrymen.
“When I got an opportunity 21 years after the assassination of Bangabandhu, I started working for the development of the country. The country has developed in many sectors in a span of five years. But, unfortunately we could not assume office in 2001 due to conspiracy hatched by the anti-liberation elements,” she said.
The AL president accused Ziaur Rahman of rehabilitating the killers of Bangabandhu and awarding the country’s flag to the notorious war criminals.
Indemnity Ordinance was promulgated to save the killers of Bangabandhu, she said.
She thanked the countrymen for voting her party to power and paved ways for trying the killers of Bangabandhu and war criminals.
Listing her government’s development activities, Sheikh Hasina said people are now getting free treatment.
“We have reduced the prices of commodities, the inflation rate has been cut down to less than 5 per cent,” she said, adding that her government reduced the poverty from 40 per cent to 21 per cent.
She also reasserted her party’s aim to turn the country a developed one by 2041. She also expressed hope to bring everyone under electricity coverage.
Highlighting the BNP’s misdeeds, the AL president said they carried out mayhem across the country in 2013 and 2014 to thwart the last general elections.
They burnt people to death and destroyed numerous public and private properties to foil the last elections.
“But people cast votes for us braving all obstacles and put us in office, she said.”
Sheikh Hasina said several attempts were made to kill her.
Remembering the plot to kill her by planting a bomb weighing around 75 kilograms near this ground where she was scheduled to address a public meeting in 1997, she said, “ The people who planted the largest bomb to kill me was hailing from this Kotalipara. And the person, who saved my life by detecting the deadly bomb, was also from Kotalipara area.”
“There were so many security agencies with me during that time. But no one could detect the biggest ever bomb. A teenage boy, who was a tea vendor, had detected the bomb and saved my life by the grace of Almighty Allah.”
Hailing the role of Gopalganj people, the primer said, “The people of Kotalipara and Tungipara always were beside me. I lost my entire family on the darkest night of August 15 in 1975 except my younger sister Sheikh Rehena. You are now my all.”
Expressing her limitation in campaigning for own constituency Gopalganj-3, Sheikh Hasina said, “Every candidate is campaigning at his or her constituency. But I cannot do it, because, I have to look after all 300 constituencies. I also have to supervise the development works of whole country.”
“But you always campaigned for me; you selected me as your representative. After being parliamentarian from this constituency, I became the prime minister of the country and have got the chance to serve the nation,” she continued.
Gopalganj district unit president Chowdhury Emdadul Haque, general secretary Mahbub Ali Khan, Awami League central leaders, including Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Faruk Khan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, among others, also addressed the rally with Kotalipara Awami League unit president Subhas Chandra Joydhar in the chair.