Mymensingh, Mar 11: Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday castigated the leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party for spreading falsehood that the Awami League has destroyed the country, saying, ‘Telling lies, indulging in corruption and looting are their habits.’
The prime minister questioned the inhabitants of Mymensingh, ‘Whether opening 103 development projects in Mymensingh is the sample of destroying Bangladesh?’
She, at the outset of the rally, formally inaugurated 73 development projects involving Taka Taka 570.07 crore and laid foundation stones of 30 other schemes worth Tk 2,762.27 crore in Mymensingh Division by unveiling the plaque.
Mentioning that the BNP leaders have said that the Awami League did nothing for the country’s development, she questioned whether they could spread such falsehoods if her government did not make Bangladesh into a digital country or give electricity to every doorstep.
Pointing at BNP leader Tarique Rahman, who went in hiding after being accused in a number of criminal cases that include August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases, 10-truck arms haul case and corruption cases, the PM said that he (Tarique) was now doing politics staying abroad using the advantage of digital Bangladesh.
Mymensingh district Awami League president Ehtashamul Alam presided over the meeting.
The entire Mymensingh took a festive look with colourful posters, banners and festoons and Sheikh Hasina’s portraits.
Among the development projects, Sheikh Hasina opened mural of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman based on the photo adjacent to the central Shaheed Minar of Mymensingh, a 50-bed Dr Mushfiqur Rahman Shubo Memorial Islamic Mission Hospital, construction of an auditorium cum community center having 1000 seat at Trishal Upazila, Institute of Health Technology, Construction of embankment to protect Charalgi Union of Gafargaon from erosion of the Brahmaputra river, new Sadar Upazila Parishad Hospital, Gorbakura-Karaitli land port at Haluaghat, main building of District Lawyers Association- Shaheed Advocate Nazrul Islam Bhavan and Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Women’s College.
The projects also include construction of Deshrat-Sheikh Hasina Hall in Bangladesh Agricultural University, Sheikh Rehana Hall, Rosy Jamal Hall, 500-bed 5-storey student hostel in Government Anand Mohan College and laying foundation stone of electricity distribution system development project.
The prime minister pledged to set up a medical university and an engineering university and other required institutions to give Mymensingh the complete shape of a division, saying that her government has made Mymensingh a division.
She said that whenever her party assumed office they always marched the country ahead, but the BNP was in power, they pushed the country backward.
Coming to power after 21 years in 1996, she said, the Awami League government made Bangladesh a food sufficient country from a deficit of 26 lakh metric tons, but again the country had become food deficit after BNP assumed office in 2001.
‘Now there is no food deficiency in Bangladesh as we have 21 lakh metric tons of food grain in stock,’ she said.
The same thing happened with the power generation and education, she said, adding that the power generation capacity was 1600MW while the literacy rate was 45 per cent during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government before AL came to power in 1996.
Then, the AL government increased the power generation capacity to 4300MW and literacy rate to over 65 per cent during 1996-2001 tenure while the BNP government again reduced the power generation capacity to 16000 MW and education rate to 45 per cent.
She said that the literacy rate now stood at over 75 per cent while power generation capacity was is over 24,000mw and electricity had reached every house across the country.
She also said that the per capita income now stood at 2824 USD while it was only 434 USD during the BNP-Jamaat government.
‘Whenever the Awami League assumes office, the country marches ahead toward prosperity, but when BNP stays in power Bangladesh goes backward,’ she added.
The prime minister said that whenever ALwas in power it gave the countrymen development while BNP had resorted to corruption, militancy, terrorism, killings and torturing the people alongside carrying out bomb and grenade attacks.
She said that her government had given the homeless and landless people home free of cost while BNP grabbed houses of others, referring to an incident of digging a pond overnight after grabbing a house of an AL leader in Gaforgaon.
Briefly spelling out development measures taken by the Awami League government, she said that they had made a massive change in the country in the last 24 hours and Bangladesh had become a developing nation by implementing Vision-2021.
‘We have to step forward keeping the achievement intact,’ she added.
The government is now in hot pursuit to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty by 2041, for which they are implementing the prospective plan 2021-2041, she said.
‘Our target is to give the people an improved and beautiful life free from all sorts of sufferings,’ she added.
She said that her government had decreased the poverty rate to 20 per cent from over 41 perc ent, adding that the poverty rate might have reduced by another two or three per cent if the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war had not hit the world.
The PM once again urged the countrymen to bring every inch of land under cultivation and grow whatever crops they can as the global economic recession may hit Bangladesh.