‘Allowance cards to be cancelled if you don't join rallies of AL candidate’

Lakshmirchar union Awami League president Hatem Ali

A local Awami League leader has threatened the beneficiaries of the government allowances saying their allowance card will be cancelled if they fail to join the rallies of Awami League nominated candidate Abul Kalam Azad from the Jamalpur-5 constituency.

Lakshmirchar union Awami League president Hatem Ali said this while addressing the voters following a procession brought out as part of the election campaign of the AL candidate.

A video of Hatem Ali’s speech went viral on social media on Wednesday night sparking criticism from various quarters. However, Hatem Ali claimed he said that mistakenly.

Hatem Ali was seen saying in the video that, “We don’t have any objection if you want to take part in the polls peacefully. If you want to break the peace, then you will have consequences like the BNP leaders and activists. I want to address those who are enjoying the government allowances through the UP chairman and members. The chairman is going to call you at the primary school ground soon. You all will have to come. And if you don’t turn up, you will be identified with the help of video footage and your allowance cards will be cancelled after the vote. I am saying this in the presence of the chairman himself.”

Hatem Ali further said, “You all enjoy all the perks and privileges of Awami League, make money with the boat symbol, then for these 10 days cater to another party. We won't allow you to enjoy the perks of another party for 5 years. Those who enjoy the perks for 10 to 12 days will get nothing for 5 years, remember that.”

“I thank those who join this procession spontaneously. Come to this office with processions every day. Those who will come will be honoured and will get some money and refreshments,” he added.

A procession was brought from the Baruamari area of Lakshmirchar union in Jamalpur Sadar upazila as part of Awami League candidate Abul Kalam Azad’s electoral campaign. The procession ended in front of the local Awami League office in the Baruamari Bazar area. Following that Lakshmirchar union AL president Hatem Ali addressed the party leaders and activists and common voters present there.

Speaking regarding his speech to Prothom Alo on Wednesday night, “I was giving a speech following a procession. During my speech the chairman told me that he would call for a rally in favour of the boat symbol at the Baruamari Government Primary School. I was urging people to join the rally and mistakenly said those words. The date of the rally is yet to be fixed.”