Govt has no intention to win polls by snatching votes: PM

Publish: 11:05 AM, December 8, 2018 | Update: 11:05:AM, December 8, 2018

DHAKA  – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government wants free, fair and neutral elections and it has no intention to win the polls by snatching the votes.

“We want the upcoming national elections to be free, fair and impartial where we have no intention to win the polls by hijacking votes,” she said.

The prime minister made the comments when 307 senior retired government officials called on her at Ganabhaban here this evening to express solidarity with the Awami League (AL) and pledge to work for the victory of the pro-liberation forces in the upcoming national election.

The premier said her government worked for the welfare of the people. “If the people, being happy, give vote to us, we will remain in power, otherwise not,” she said.

Referring to the 2001 elections, the Awami League president said her party did not lose in votes in that election. “We bagged more votes despite so many obstructions, but we were given less seats,” she said.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said after coming to power in 2009, she got a document (on the 2001 elections results) in the prime minister’s office.

“Which seats we will be given and which will not were marked in red, yellow, green and blue inks. From this, it was understood that how the elections were staged in that year,” she said.

Ex-secretaries Ashok Madhab Roy, Dr Khondakar Shawkat Hossain, SM Ali Kabir and Qmarunnesa Khanam and former principal information officer AKM Shameem Chowdhury, ex-additional secretary and freedom fighter Abu Taher, former additional IGP Shamsuddoha Khandakar, Agriculturist Wasiuzzaman Akhand, Engineer Kabir Ahmed Bhuiyan, Professor Dilara Hafiz, former director general of Health Directorate Dr Deen Mohammad Nurul Haque, ambassador Abdul Hannan, former director general of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Directorate Nomanur Rashid, former additional secretary Ansar Ali Khan also spoke at the function, among others.

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury and PM’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam were present on the dais, while former principal secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury moderated the function.

Putting emphasis on maintaining the continuity of the government for further development of the country, the prime minister said the anti-liberation forces will destroy the country again if they come to power.

“So we don’t want to see the party of killers and war criminals, the anti-liberation forces and those who unleash fire terrorism in power again,” she said.

She added: “They (the anti-liberation forces) will ruin the country again (like the past), if they come to power. But we don’t want to go towards the destruction, we want to move towards advancement.”

Sheikh Hasina said if the Awami League cannot come to power, the ongoing development works will not be completed. “The anti-liberation forces will not finish the work as they don’t believe in the country’s independence,” she said.

The prime minister said why those who do not want Bangladesh be advanced and the people to stay well will do it. “But we want to change the lot of the people and for this, continuity of the government is a must,” she said.

The prime minister said her government aims to establish a developed and prosperous Bangladesh in South Asia by 2041.

“We planned to celebrate centenary of our independence in 2071 and we’ve adopted Delta Plan-2100. We may not remain alive at that time, but we want to leave by doing a befitting plan for future generations,” she said.

The prime minister urged all including the retired government officials who believe in the spirit of the liberation war to properly highlight and inform the development works of the Awami League government to the people.

“Doing only work for the people is not enough … the people will have to be remembered repeatedly about this work,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also pointed out the BNP-Jammat’s atrocities on the people, especially opposition leaders and workers, after the 2001 elections.

She said thousands of Awami League leaders and workers became victims of brutality of the BNP-Jamaat terrorists at that time.

“Six-year-old child was not spared from their beastliness at that time and hundreds of government officials were sacked by the BNP-Jamaat government,” she said, adding that the people did not forget that dark days of the country.

Describing the ordeal of the retired government officials who became victims of harassment during the BNP-Jamaat government as ‘heart-rending’, the prime minister said her government did not neglect any government officials or did not do any work with revengeful mentality.

“Because, I thought the government officers are the government officers. They have performed their responsibilities. But I judged that who how much worked with efficiency and sincerity,” she said.

The retired government officers who expressed their solidarity with the AL include former principal secretary, senior secretaries, secretaries, chairman and members of different commissions, former ambassadors, additional secretaries and joint secretaries.

Former chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission Md Badiuzzaman, ex-chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission AR Khan, former chairman of the Privatisation Commission Molla Wahiduzzaman, former Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, ex-auditor and comptroller generals Masud Ahmed and Md Abul Kashem, former senior secretaries Mezbah Uddin, Md Mezbah ul Alam and Yunusur Rahman and ex-principal information officer AKM Shamim Chowdhury expressed the solidarity.

Former secretaries Abu Taher, Hemayet Uddin Talukdar, Mahbub-ul-Alam Khan, Shailendra Nath Mazumdar, Abdul Malek Mia, Dewan Zakir Hossain, Sunil Kanti Bose, Syed Ali Kabir, Sheikh Khurshid Alam, Atahrul Islam, Samar Chandra Paul, Nurul Haque, Abdul Mannan Hawlader, ATKM Ismail, Shafiqul Azam, Qamrunnesa Khanam, Md Mizanur Rahman, Khandakar Asaduzzaman, Md Kazi Akhtar Hossain, Arastu Khan, MA Qader Sarkar, Dr Chowdhury Md Babul Hasan, AHM Masud Siddiqui, Md Azizur Rahman, Shafik Alam Mehedi, Kazi Akhtar Uddin Ahmed, ALM Abdur Rahman, Humayun Khalid, Anwar Faruk, Shaheen Khan, Mansur Ali Shikdar, Zahurul Alam, Writi Ibrahim, Nazrul Islam Khan, Dr Khondakar Shawkat Hossain, Michail Shipar, Khorshed Alam Chowdhury, MA Hannan, AKM Amir Hossain, Nurunnabi Talukdar, Fakhrul Islam, Golam Rabbani, Sirajul Islam, Shyamal Kanti Ghosh, AM Badruddoza, Shirin Akhtar, Khandakar Iftekhar Haidar, Kaikobad Hossain, Abu Mohammad Mostafa Kamal, Nazmul Islam, Mamtaz Ala Shakur Ahmed, Nazim Uddin, Ashok Madhab Roy and Dr Prashanta Kumar Roy and Shamsul Haque, ex-ADB official Parvez Imdad, former Public Service Commission members Kazi Nasirul Islam, Md Wazed Ali Khan and Zahurul Alam, ex-ambassadors ATM Nazrul Islam, Mizanur Rahman, Md Azizul Haque, Golam Mohammad, Md Abdul Hannan, Atikur Rahman, Iktiar Chowdhury, Wahidur Rahman and Abdus Sattar also expressed solidarity with the AL at the function.

At the outset of the function, they greeted the prime minister by presenting bouquets.