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Bangladesh - September 16, 2023

Remain alert as none can play fouls with voting rights: PM

Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister and Leader of the House on Friday urged the countrymen to remain alert as none can play foul with the voting rights of the people.
“Stay alert so that none can play ducks and drakes with the voting franchise of the people,” she told the Parliament while giving valedictory speech in the 24th session of the 11th parliament.
“Another session of the parliament will be in October next. And then, the national election will be held. If the people vote for us, we will come to here (treasury bench) otherwise we will go to there (opposition bench). We have no problem. We are leaving everything to the people,” she said.
But, the prime minister reiterated her call upon the nation to remain cautious as none can hinder the country’s continued democratic process alongside the progress made by the Awami League government despite economic meltdown and inflation across the globe.
But all will have to remain alert so that this progress won’t be hampered, anyone can in no way play ducks and drakes with the voting rights of the people and the democratic trend won’t be hampered, she said.
“I call upon all including the countrymen to remain alert to this end,” she said.
The prime minister said the people of Bangladesh will march ahead with keeping its head high by maintaining the honour that has achieved by the Bangalees and Bangladesh on the global stage.
“The people of Bangladesh won’t bow down their heads to any conspiracy,” she continued.
The premier came down heavily on some foreign countries which are out to the election issue in Bangladesh.
She questioned why the countries did not raise voice against the previous farcical elections held in Bangladesh that included presidential election in 1977, parliamentary elections in 1979, 1981, 1986 and on 15th February 1996.
On the other side, all the elections held whether those are by-polls and local body election during the Awami League’s regimes were transparent and peaceful ones, she said.
“When was more peaceful election in Bangladesh?” she questioned.
“When we are holding election in fair manner, questions are raised about the election. What does it mean? Why did questions raise about the election when Bangladesh is marching toward in terms of economic progress?” she said.
Former President Md Abdul Hamid gave patient hearing to her speech, sitting Padma Gallery of the Jatiya Sangsad.
Sheikh Hasina said there is no scarcity of essential items in the markets despite the fact that the countrymen have to suffer from inflation to some extent due to global economic downturn caused by Russia-Ukraine war.
“There is no deficit in production and we’ve taken all required measures for increasing the production,” she said.
Coming down heavily on the unscrupulous businessmen for hiking in price of commodities in artificial ways by storing goods in godowns and reduce the price once the government takes measures.
The prime minister said she had already asked the commerce minister to monitor every market and put intelligence agencies on hot pursuit to find out as to why the prices of commodities see abnormal rising trend.
The prime minister said they have already taken necessary steps to check abnormal price hike of commodities.
Sheikh Hasina continued that there is no scarcity of foods in the country as over 17 lakh metric tonnes of foods are in government stock despite Bangladesh needs only 12 lakh metric tonnes of food to meet its demand.
The premier said the world is going through a food deficiency, asking the lawmakers and the countrymen not to leave a single inch of land uncultivated, and encourage others to boost food production so that Bangladesh won’t have to depend on others.
About the reserve of foreign currencies, she assured the countrymen that there is nothing to worry about it as her government has maintained enough reserve to meet the three-month import expenditures.
The prime minister said they have already taken various steps to reduce the dollar crisis that arisen out of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.
About the universal pension scheme, she instructed the lawmakers to join the pension scheme and encourage the masses about the positive sides of taking part in the scheme.

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