Propaganda on against Bangladesh, says PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the country would move forward proving its enemies wrong despite the propaganda being carried out against it at home and abroad.

“Bangladesh is moving forward and it will continue doing so proving its enemies wrong. Propaganda is being carried out in different ways at home and abroad. I believe if we work with honesty, people will get the benefits of that work,” she said.

The premier was delivering her concluding address in the 11th session of the 11th parliament. It was also her address on the thanksgiving motion on the president’s speech.

The 11th session of Jatiya Sangsad was prorogued yesterday after 12 sittings.

Talking about politics, Hasina said the BNP was suffering from a lack of leadership and people did not have any trust and confidence in the party as convicted and fugitive accused were at its helm.

She said the Awami League gained people’s trust and confidence, which was reflected in the results of the recent polls to local bodies.

After the PM’s address, the thanksgiving motion on the president’s speech was adopted unanimously by the House.

A total of 133 lawmakers from the government and opposition benches spoke on the motion for 25 hours and 25 minutes.

Hasina said, “People are now getting services from Awami League, development of the country is going on and the people’s wellbeing is being improved. Accordingly, Awami League has gained people’s trust and confidence. We saw its reflection in the local government elections.”

She said the people are casting ballots with enthusiasm and elections are being held in a free and fair manner.

“Polling is now being held through electronic voting machines (EVMs) and there is no scope for committing irregularities. I thank the people for exercising their voting rights and expressing their opinion.”

She said there is no system for influencing the polls by using muscle power.

“Yes, troubles might occur among councillor candidates in some places during the elections to local bodies.”

The leader of the House said some previous governments were forced to step down in the face of movements over rigging votes.

Without mentioning the names of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman, the PM questioned how a party could work for the people when it is led by people who were jailed for graft and embezzling orphans’ money and convicted in the 10-truck arms haul and grenade attack cases.

COVID VACCINE

Regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, Hasina said no significant side-effects of the vaccine were reported so far.

“A few people felt pain in their hands and a few others had fever. The number of such people was four to five. We are also monitoring this.”

Noting that the vaccine has already reached all districts, the premier said the countrywide vaccination programme will begin on February 7 or 8. All the people interested in receiving the vaccine will have to register their names, she added.

Hasina said the government has also given instructions to carry out antibody tests.

She said there was a lot of criticism before the arrival of the vaccine in the country. The vaccine itself has given answers to all of these (criticisms).

‘NO APPRECIATION AT HOME’

The PM said the government has taken all kinds of measures to check the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country and it also earned appreciations from across the world in this regard.

“We don’t get appreciation from inside the county. But the whole world, including the UN secretary-general, praised Bangladesh.”

Hasina said the BNP’s innate nature is to mislead the people by spreading rumours, telling lies and providing untrue information. “They will continue saying their words. We will continue our works and serve the people. Let them speak their words.”

‘CONFINED TO A LARGE PRISON’

The premier said she passes a nice time when parliament remains in session as she apparently stays confined to a large prison due to the pandemic situation.

“I am apparently confined to a large prison. I come to parliament when it is in session. Here I have a chance to meet all. I really spend a good time,” she said.

REOPENING OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

Mentioning that the Covid-19 situation has largely come under control in the country, the PM said educational institutions would be reopened after the pandemic situation comes under control a bit more.

She urged all to wear masks and follow hygiene rules even after getting vaccinated until the world becomes free from the pandemic

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sc: The Daily Star