Next national polls will be held on time: PM Hasina

PM Sheikh HasinaFile photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has made it clear that the next national election will be held on time to uphold the continuation of the democratic trend in the country.

"The election will be held on time, people will cast their vote, people will give the vote to whoever they want as the sole owner of their vote and the government will be formed on the basis of people’s choice. This is the democratic trend, and it will continue," she said.

The premier made this remarks while addressing at a civic reception accorded to her at Hilton Hotel in Geneva on Thursday evening by expatriate Bangladeshis in Switzerland.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of ruling party Awami League (AL), said that as BNP knows it very well that they would not get any vote from people due to their evil deeds and that is why they are now looking for a backtrack from the election process.

"Actually, they (BNP) are the party of ‘thieves’ and vote riggers, it is not possible for them to come to power without vote dacoity," she said.

PM Hasina said, “They grabbed power accepting the pre-conditions to sell the resources of the country in the past. So, people do not want them (BNP) anymore and for that reason they do not get votes from the people, and that is why they are looking for ways to step back from the election."

About BNP's repeated threat to overturn the AL government, Sheikh Hasina said that the government is not that much weak.

"There was uproar that they will oust the government on 10 December. However, we're not at that point of weakness where they can topple down us. We've people with us. They are our strength," the AL president said.

Regarding the BNP's demand of forming caretaker government during the election period, she said that "we've formed totally independent election commission, but BNP is still making the demand of the caretaker government."

She further said, “Once Khaleda Zia claimed that no one is neutral except insane person or child. Has BNP become insane or child.”

“By bringing those thieves to power, by bringing the anti-independence force to power, by bringing murderers, we will not allow Bangladesh to bow down to others," she added.

BNP now spreading various types of propaganda and resorting dirty tricks to cover up their own weakness, she said, adding, "Those who killed people in broad daylight, those who looted, committed corruption, punished in corruption cases, it is now the main issue whether they will go to elections under the leadership of a convicted and punished person."

Referring to the sacrifices of AL leaders and activists for the establishment of democracy, the prime minister said "the democratic trend that has been established in Bangladesh today is the result of our movement. My party leaders and workers have given their lives for this. And I narrowly survived the grenade attack."

Highlighting the benefits of the continuation of democracy, she said, "the country has changed because of unhindered democratic trend, today the country has developed, today Bangladesh has occupied a dignified position in the world."

Reiterating her determination to build a "Smart Bangladesh", Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh will move forward with the status it has got today. "We will build the hunger-poverty-free, advanced and prosperous smart Golden Bangla as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by 2041."

Appreciating the role of expatriates in any crisis of Bangladesh, the Prime Minister said that remittances sent by expatriates play a huge role in the country's economy.

She urged the expatriates to send money through the legal channels instead of sending remittances to the country through "hundi".

She advised the people those who interested in going abroad to be aware and careful about brokers and also urged them to go abroad in a legal way through registration.

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen and law minister Anisul Huq, among others, were present at the programme.

Expatriate Bangladeshis living in various European countries including Switzerland and AL leaders and activists were present in the event.