Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday sought votes for her party symbol 'Boat' in the next general election for maintaining the pace of development.
"I seek your blessings and votes for our party symbol 'Boat' in the next election so that we can serve the nation," she said.
She added, “If you make our candidates victorious, the pace of development will continue. But, if those unleashed terrorism and militancy in the country come to power again, Bangladesh will again turn into a den of terrorists and militants.”
The Awami League chief was addressing a public rally organised by the local unit of Awami League at the Harian Sugar Mills ground in Paba upazila.
Noting that Awami League is a party which belongs to people, Sheikh Hasina said the country witnesses massive development whenever AL is in power. "But, when the BNP-Jamaat grabbed power, terrorism, militancy, looting, plundering and Bangla Bhai emerged in the country and people had to endure immense sufferings."
During their tenure, she alleged, the top BNP leader and her other party leaders amassed wealth abroad and led a luxurious life. "Even they embezzled the fund of orphanage. This is their (BNP leaders') character."
The prime minister also renewed her firm resolve that no poverty will remain there in the country, saying some 5 crore people have already come out of the poverty level as Bangladesh has already become self-reliant economically.
She urged the cross-section of people, including guardians, teachers, religious leaders and imams, to give special attention to their children as to where they go, who they spend time with and whether they get involved in any terrorist and militant activity.
Hasina suggested that the imams massively preach that Islam is a religion of peace and there is no place for terrorism and militancy in this sacred religion while it never accepts killing of people in the name of religion.
"All will have to remain aware so that this holy religion (Islam) is not maligned due to the terrorist acts of a vested quarter," she added.
She also said there will be no place for war criminals and terrorists on the soil of Bangladesh.
Mentioning that the development pace continued in the country since Awami League assumed office for the second consecutive term through winning the 5-January, 2014 election, the prime minister said the BNP-Jamaat government could not unleash such level of development in Rajshahi that the present AL government has made over the last eight and a half years.
Referring to the establishment of 100 economic zones across the country, she said another special economic zone will be set up in this region to spur the industrialisation.
She also said the Faculty of Agriculture at Rajshahi University will further be strengthened to boost the research work as well as agricultural production.
About the roads and highways battered by the recent floods, she said those will be repaired, and urged the authorities concerned and people to ensure that the work is done properly.
Hasina said the government is importing food grains to replenish the stock following damage to crops caused by early flashflood and the recent flood.
Extending her heartfelt thanks to the local people for their support to AL and joining the rally in a large number braving inclement weather, she assured them that her government will continue to do whatever necessary for ensuring overall development of the region.