BNP will get no benefit threatening AL: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her firm conviction that BNP can’t reap any benefit giving threat of movement to Awami League (AL). “BNP threatens to stage various types of movement. . .there is no benefit in showing all those threat of movements and fears to AL,” she said. The premier made this remark while addressing a grand rally at KEPZ field in Anwara organised on inauguration of country’s first ever underwater tunnel named “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel”. Chattogram North and South district units AL organised the rally. Sheikh Hasina, also the President of ruling AL, said that she wants to make it clear that AL was elected by the people’s vote, formed the government and attained the status of a developing nation for Bangladesh. “But, Khaleda Zia rigged vote on February 15 and seized power, prompting people of Bangladesh to raise movement and the countrymen ousted her,” she said, adding “they should remember it. They steal votes, they steal people’s money.” Mentioning that BNP-Jamaat means murderers, killers and they believe in terrorism and militancy, she said, “AL believes in peace. AL believes in development.” Bangladesh is moving forward today because Awami League is in power, she said, adding that “No one can hold back this Bangladesh. This is the reality.” Sheikh Hasina at the rally ground also formally inaugurated the country’s first ever much-anticipated nearly 3.315km underwater expressway “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel”. It is first of its kind in South Asia, constructed beneath the River Karnaphuli connecting the city’s Patenga with Anwara upazila. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a goodwill message on this occasion. The message was read out by Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen, and later he handed it over to the premier. The premier also released a special commemorative postage stamp and first day cover along with special canceller, marking the inauguration of the tunnel. She also unveiled commemorative note of Taka 50 to mark the occasion. At the outset of the function, a video documentary on the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel was screened. The 9.39 km-long tunnel, including approach road, built at a cost of Taka 10,689 crore will be opened to vehicles from 6am on Monday. The tunnel’s two tubes are spaced approximately 12 meters apart. Both tubes feature two lanes for traffic, and a 5.35-kilometre connecting road is situated at each end of the tunnel, with an additional 727-metre-long over-bridge at the Anwara end. In terms of connecting two regions of the country, the tunnel is the second “dream scheme” in road transport sector after the Padma Bridge. The tunnel has been built following the “one city two towns” model like Shanghai in China. Bridge Division Secretary Monjur Hossain conducted the formal inaugural ceremony of the tunnel. The prime minister at the rally ground also inaugurated 11 projects that are completed and laid foundation stones of six development projects in Chattogram. Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, AL Presidium Member and Deputy Leader of the Parliament Begum Matia Chowdhury, Presidium Member Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Joint General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Land Minister and Member of the Parliament from local constituency Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, among others, also spoke. AL’s Chattogram South District unit President Mothaherul Islam Chowdhury chaired the rally. A large boat shaped stage has been erected in the rally venue. The public rally has turned into a vast human sea with the participation of huge number of people, as the entire area became the place of festivity following the opening of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel. The prime minister said the only task of BNP is to kill people, loot money and do corruption. “Khaleda Zia siphoned off orphans money and for that reason she is convicted. Her son Tarique Rahman is absconding abroad,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said in 2007, Tarique Rahman gave bond to the caretaker government that he will not continue politics and left the country “He (Tarique) laundered crores of Taka. He was involved in 10 trucks arms smuggling and for that he is convicted. He is also convicted in August 21 grenade attack to kill me,” she said. The premier said, “As you have voted for “boat”, the development of the country has been possible,” adding that when AL do development of the country, the BNP-Jamaat destroys it. “They (BNP) have the history of burning people to death alive,” she said, mentioning that Ziaur Rahman was involved in the brutal killing of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman including most of her family members. She added, “They only know how to kill, nothing else.” She also said that they have killed over 21,000 leaders and activists of AL along with its front and associate bodies. “They (BNP) only engage in corruption and looting,” she said. Once Chattogram was place of terrorism during the regime of BNP, but AL after assuming power pulled it back to the road of development, she added. She went on saying that “Chattogram is our commercial capital and we’re developing Chattogram with this view.” Sheikh Hasina said AL always works for the country’s development and this tunnel has reduced the distance with Cox’s Bazar and will also connect Asian highway which will expedite the country’s development further. She said that AL government is pulling the country ahead through taking multi-sectoral development projects. “We’re taking comprehensive development schemes for overall development of Bangladesh,” she added. The head of the government also highlighted different social initiatives taken by her government such old age allowance, widow allowance, husband-abandoned and divorcee allowance, housing for homeless, allowance for physically challenged people, free book distribution, stipend for student and others development schemes. She said as the democratic trend is continued in the country, alongside the development activities, poverty rate and extreme poverty rate has reduced. She urged the people, who are intending to go abroad, not to go to foreign countries through giving money to middlemen. In this regard, she stressed getting loan from Probashi Kalyan Bank without any collateral. Sheikh Hasina also urged the countrymen to cast their votes in favour of Awami League for maintaining the development spree of the country.