PM seeks vote to root out militancyHasan Major
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Saturday alleged that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami were engaged in a false propaganda as they were during the 1996 electioneering when they said that Islam was not safe and Muslims could not say prayers in mosques if the Awami League was voted to power.
‘Islam is safer and the Muslims can go to mosque and say their prayers safely during the tenure of the Awami League,’ she told a rally on the premises of Azimpur Girls’ School and College.
Hasina said that the BNP did not understand the language of democracy. ‘When the Awami League-led government wants to do development, the BNP-Jamaat starts carrying out vandalism and killing people. They just have two qualities — corruption and killing people,’ she said.
Hasina, also president of the Awami League, sought
electoral mandate for the party symbol of ‘boat’ in the forthcoming elections to permanently stamp out militancy and terrorism.
‘I want your vote for the symbol boat. Peace and prosperity will come if you vote for the symbol. And there will be no militancy and terrorism,’ she said.
She came down heavily on the BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, saying that Khaleda had predicted that the government would be looking for exit after her 48-hour ultimatum. ‘But her [Khaleda] threat did not work,’ Hasina said.
Hasina, also a former student of Ajimpur Girls’ School and College, looking back at her school days, said that she had enjoyed the school days playing around and begun her political career in those days. She also recounted how she had joined the movement by escaping from classes.
Amid cheers, the prime minister announced the nationalisation of Azimpur School and College and unveiled a plaque. ‘Being the student of this school, I feel proud in declaring my school nationalised.’
Hasina also inaugurated six other projects including a nine-storey hostel for students Eden Girls’ College.
The Lalbagh unit Awami League president, Abul Hasnat, presided over the rally. The agriculture minister, Matia Chowdhury, the education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, local lawmaker Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin and the Awami League’s joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif also spoke.
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