Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on Monday denounced the BNP's call for movement in the month of Ramadan disregarding its sanctity and peace in public life, urging the countrymen to remain alert about any move against the country's development.
"They [BNP] have announced movement even in the month of Ramadan. Give the people a sigh of relief from the movement during the month of Ramadan," she said while presiding over a discussion organised by the Awami League marking the 53rd Independence and National Day at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka.
The prime minister reminded the countrymen that Khaleda Zia had killed 17 labourers with bullets in the month of Ramadan as they waged a movement for raising their salaries.
"Those who shot dead people in the month of Ramadan, how will they show respect to the month of Ramadan? So, they have called for a movement. They have no feeling for Ramadan and over the sufferings of the people," she said.
On the contrary, the Awami League president said, they (AL) have decided not to hold any iftar party but to distribute the money and food among the common people in the month of Ramadan aimed at easing their suffering.
The prime minister came down heavily on the BNP leaders and some so-called intellectuals for not seeing democracy and development in Bangladesh despite the fact the world community has been bound to show respect to Bangladesh after seeing its massive development.
"The world community has been compelled to describe Bangladesh as a role model for development."
The prime minister said Bangladesh has secured huge development in the last 14 years since the Awami League government assumed power in 2009 due to her government's tireless efforts and continued democratic process.
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was present at the function.
Presidium members Shajahan Khan, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Mostofa Jalal Mohiuddin, and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Chairman of International Affairs Sub-committee Ambassador Mohammad Jamir, Presidium member Abdur Rahman, Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das, Central Executive members Parveen Zaman Kalpana and Sanjida Khanom, Dhaka South and North City Awami League general secretaries Humayun Kabir and SM Mannan Kochi respectively, spoke on the occasion.
Awami League Publicity and Publication Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and his deputy Syed Abdul Awal Shameem moderated the discussion.
Sheikh Hasina described the 29 years — 21 years after the assassination of the Father of the Nation and five years of BNP in power after the 2001 election and the subsequent caretaker government period — as a black chapter for Bangladesh.
"We have brought the light of a new sun for the people of Bangladesh dispelling the black cloud. Bangladesh is marching ahead and will do so as it starts its journey towards the light," she said.
The prime minister called upon the countrymen to go ahead with the trust and confidence that the Awami League has achieved through the massive development for the welfare of the country and its people.
"Do not be misled by any falsehood," she said, referring to propaganda against the Awami League and the government by the BNP-Jamaat clique.
The prime minister said there are many international powers alongside some so-called local intellectuals who do not like democracy and development to continue in Bangladesh.
"They are [so-called intellectuals] are always busy with defaming [the government] at home and abroad apart from saying that no development is taking place in Bangladesh."
Describing various measures taken for the overall development of Bangladesh, she said her government has made significant development in every sector such as infrastructure, education, health, accommodation, electricity, agriculture, information and communication technology, trade and commerce.
She said her government has built the Padma Bridge with own finance and showed the world Bangladesh's capability alongside constructing metro rail, the tunnel under the Karnaphuli River and many more.
The prime minister asked the BNP leaders to show a single such development that took place during their period.
The Awami League president asked her party leaders and activists to go ahead with the confidence and trust the people have in them.
"The independence of Bangladesh will never be allowed to go in vain. So, the people of Bangladesh and the leaders and activists of the Awami League and front and associate bodies will have to work in unison so that the followers of those who assumed power illegally after killing the Father of the Nation cannot play ducks and drakes with the freedom and fate of the people.''
Bangladesh has now reached such a dignified position due to the continued democratic process and efforts for development, she said.
"Bangladesh will march ahead with indomitable pace and none can hinder the journey," she asserted.