Stop troubling people, or face stringent action
Hasina warns oppositionMahamudul Hasan
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Friday cautioned the opposition that she would be as tough as needed to control the current state of anarchy and restore peace and ensure security of lives and property of the people.
Addressing a large public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city, she said, ‘I will be as tough as required to curb all sorts of terrorist activities. You [Khaleda] wanted to resist the polls but failed.’
Hasina, also the Awami League president, urged the BNP chairperson not to kill innocent people and hamper life anymore by enforcing hartal and blockade in the aftermath of the elections.
‘If you [Khaleda] do not stop it, Awami League knows it well how to stop this,’ she said.
Hasina said she was going to form the next government on January 12 and asked the BNP chairperson to sit across the table for a solution if she had any problem.
‘You [Khaleda] have played a lot of game. Now please, stop playing game. If you have anything to say, if you have any problem, you can discuss them for a solution,’ she said, adding that the BNP chairperson had tried everything – killing people, destroying public property and halting academic life of children – in the name of movement, which had no support of the common people. ‘People would not tolerate such destruction anymore.’
Referring to the torture on religious minorities after 2001 and 2014 elections, Hasina said that Awami League being in the opposition could not build up an effective resistance against the torture and oppression carried out by BNP-Jamaat on the minorities after the 2001 elections.
‘In a similar way the BNP-Jammat are now mounting attacks on the religious minorities because they cast their votes for ‘boat’. They [BNP-Jamaat] should remember that we are now in power. If you do not stop striking terror, you would face the consequences…Already the law enforcers have started conducting joint drives to hunt down the perpetrators,’ she said.
The prime minister said that the BNP chairperson had made a mistake by not joining the elections and she would have to pay for it. You are burning people to death and causing sufferings to the people for the mistakes you have made. This cannot go on. Please stop troubling people. Do not try to force people to pay for your mistakes,’ she said urging the BNP chairperson not to give ‘Laden-style’ programmes through video messages.
Hasina in her 40-minute speech said that academic life of students had been largely hampered due to the opposition’s hartal and blockade programmes.
‘They [students] would resume their academic life again. If anybody tries to stand in the way of their academic life, the government would resist it at any cost. We would not allow anybody to play with the lives of the people,’ she said, announcing that for the first time in the country her government was going to introduce pre-primary education.
Hasina said that Khaleda would not be able to stop the progress of the country with the help of a few Rajakars and war criminals. She said the BNP chairperson deserved thanks for boycotting the polls as the country was spared of witnessing Jamaat taking part in polls along with BNP.
Hasina said that her government would remove the stigma from the nation by completing the trials of war criminals and executing the verdicts.
The prime minister said the AL had fulfilled almost all the pledges it made in the 2008 election manifesto. ‘As per our election pledges, we made a significant progress toward achieving the status of a middle-income nation by 2021,’ she said, adding that her next government would also fulfill the pledges it made in the 2014 election manifesto.
Awami League organised the rally to mark the Homecoming Day of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s founding president. AL presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, also deputy leader of parliament, presided over the rally addressed by AL leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Syed Ashraful Islam, Mohammad Nasim and Abdul Latif Siddique.
Thousands of AL leaders, activists and supports from Dhaka and its adjacent districts joined the rally. Narayanganj AL leader Shamim Osman came to the rally with several thousand people in a long convoy of buses, trucks and pick-up vans.
Addressing the rally, Suranjit Sengupta said Khaleda had refused to participate in the 10th parliamentary polls under the Sheikh Hasina-led government, but if she wanted to contest the 11th parliamentary polls, she would have to do so under Sheikh Hasina.
AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam said the Khaleda-led BNP had now become the main anti-liberation party.
People crowd an Awami League rally in Surharawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Friday. The Awami League president, Sheikh Hasina, addressed the rally. — New Age photo
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