888Published on August 2, 2023
Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina today sought vote for her party's electoral symbol 'Boat' in the next general election and give them another chance to serve the people.
"People have got country's independence by casting vote for the boat... the country's development happens only when Awami League remains in power. Fortunes of the people have changed, electricity has reached every house and Bangladesh is marching ahead as the Awami League is in power," she said.
She was addressing the AL's divisional grand rally at Rangpur Zilla School here that turned into a human sea as the venue and its surrounding areas were full to the brim with participation of tens of thousands of people from all strata, including leaders and activists of the Awami League and its associate bodies.
The mammoth rally was organised by Rangpur District and City Awami League.
Sheikh Hasina said she considered the people of Bangladesh as her near and dear ones after losing her father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, mother and brothers on August 15, 1975.
"If required, I am ready to sacrifice my life like my father to change the fate of the countrymen," she said.
At the rally, she also inaugurated 27 newly constructed development projects and laid foundation stones of five other schemes involving over Tk 2000 crore.
The premier reached the venue around 3:25 in the afternoon.
She earlier arrived at Rangpur cantonment helipad by a helicopter at 01:13pm from where she was escorted to the Rangpur Circuit House where she held a meeting with Rangpur divisional government officials.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, AL Central Committee Treasurer HN Ashiqur Rahman, Organising Secretary Abu Saeed Al Mahmud Swapan and Rangpur district AL Convener AKM Sayadat Hossain Bokul, among others, spoke at the rally.
Rangpur City AL Convener Dr Delwar Hossain presided over the meeting.
Senior leaders of the Awami League were also present on the dais.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working to change the fate of the masses, including farmers, labourers and hard working people, since assuming office.
"We have been able to reduce the poverty and make Bangladesh free from hunger," she said, adding that Bangladesh is now being recognised as a model for development in the world due to her government's massive works to ensure overall socio-economic advancement of the country.
"Bangladesh has changed a lot in every aspect particularly in socio-economic advancement in the last 14 and a half years," she said.
In this connection, the premier said her government has given a budget of Taka 7,61,785 crore for the FY 2023-24 while the BNP government's last budget was of Taka 61,000 crore.
She said her government has given a development budget of Taka 2 lakh crore while it was only Taka 21,000 crore during the BNP tenure.
The Prime Minister said her government has transformed Bangladesh into a digital and developing country and has been working to make it a smart and developed country by 2041.
"Awami League has proved time and again that the fortune of the countrymen changed when they voted the party to power," she said.
On the contrary, she said the BNP makes their fortunes by committing unbridled corruption when it assumes power and carries out arson terrorism and destruction while in opposition.
"They (BNP) did nothing for the welfare of the people," she said.
Briefly describing her government's measures for overall development of Rangpur division, particularly Rangpur district, Sheikh Hasina said her government has made Rangpur a division and built everything possible required to be a divisional city.
She said her government has built Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur, an agricultural university in Kurigram, and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aerospace and Aviation University in Lalmonithat.
"One day Bangladesh will go to moon and build plane after getting education from the aerospace and aviation university," she said.
The premier said her government has been upgrading the Elenga-Hatikumrul-Rangpur Highway into four-lane and is making the Syedpur Airport as an international one so that India, Bhutan and Nepal can use it for mutual benefit in business and commerce.
She said they have built a 150 MW power plant in Syedpur and has taken measures to build a power plant after importing diesel from Assam in India.
The government has built a 200 MW solar power plant in Lalmonirhat, she said.
She said they have built Rangpur Rural Development Academy, 100-bed children hospital and a police hospital in Rangpur.
The Prime Minister said they will restart the famous Chilmari Port and Rangpur Suger Mill alongside implementing the Teesta Master Plan.
She said her government is set to build economic zone in Rangpur district which will generate huge employments in the region.
The Prime Minister said the works on canal digging and river dredging have been going on in Rangpur division.
"No government did such massive works for overall development of Rangpur," she said.
She said due to her government's initiatives 'Monga' never returned in eight districts of the Rangpur region.
"We have taken measures in such a way for the development of Rangpur so that Monga never returns," she added.
The Prime Minister said that today she inaugurated 27 development schemes and laid foundation stones of five others including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Planetarium to make sure overall development of Rangpur.
"I have been making arrangements for the development of Rangpur region in such a way so that every sector gets boosted in terms of development," she said.
The projects of which foundation stones were laid by the premier are: the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre, Rangpur Regional office of Bangladesh Public Service Commission Secretariat, Bitac Centre of Rangpur district, women hostel for Rangpur Medical College and regional office of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA).
The premier opened five development programmes under Youth and Sports Ministry. These are- Sheikh Russell Media Centre, Sheikh Russell Indoor Stadium, Sheikh Russell Swimming Pool, Rangpur Palichara Stadium and Divisional Women Sports Complex.
The inaugurated projects under Rangpur City Corporation are - Rangpur City Central Bus Terminal, Rangpur City Asphalt Plant and Store Yard.
Under Agriculture Ministry, the projects are - The Nalaya River Re-excavation (19.14 kilometres), Alaikumari River Re-excavation (19.24 kilometre), Noimulla Beel Re-excavation (14.57 acre), Chithli Feel Re-excavation (19.63 acres), Varardaha and Patuakamri Beel Re-excavation (22.89 acres).
The projects under the Local Government and Rural Development and Cooperatives Ministry are - development works of road from Pirgacha upazila's Chowdhurani GC to Shathibari R&H, Rehabilitation works of road from Pirgacha upazila's Vendabari to Khalashpir GC, Rehabilitation works of road from Kaunia upazila's Tepamdhupur GC to Paotana GC, construction of 96 metre bridge over Ghaghat river at Gopalganj Ghat in Mithapukur Upazila, construction of 40 metre bridge on Burirhaat GC- Kakina R&H road in Gangachara upazila and construction works of Pallimari government primary school cum shelter in Kaunia upazila.
The projects under Health Engineering Department are - Rangpur Medical College Multipurpose Building, Helencha 10-bed Mother and Child Welfare Centre at Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur, office of Divisional Health Director of Rangpur Division, Matharganj 10-bed Mother and Child Welfare Centre at Pirganj upazila in Rangpur, 14 No Chatra 10-bed Mother and Child Welfare Centre at Pirganj upazila in Rangpur, 10 bed Begum Rokeya Modern Hospital of Payraband union of Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur and Khalashpir 10-bed Mother and Child Welfare Centre at Pirganj upazila in Rangpur.
The other projects are - the preservation of 2,540 metre river banks in Pirganj upazila and office building of inspection of Rangpur Factories and Organizations.