The prime minister solicited vote for the ruling party’s ‘boat’ symbol “to save the country and Liberation War spirit from destruction” at her first campaign rally in Gopalganj’s Kotaliparha on Wednesday. “You must vote for ‘boat’ symbol to provide an appropriate response to the anti-liberation forces, convicted war criminals, the enemies of independence, arsonists, mass killers, criminals, and their associates who have made them candidates,” Hasina told the rally, referring to the BNP and its ally the Jamaat-e-Islami.
She said she wanted to send a message to the voters across Bangladesh through those in her Gopalganj-3 constituency that no war criminal or anti-liberation element should be in power when the country celebrates the golden jubilee of independence in 2021.
“They will destroy the country and the spirit of Liberation War if they return to power. The country will be slip back to hunger, illiteracy and misfortune. I am urging you to vote for ’boat’ and give the Awami League another opportunity to serve you so that they (BNP, Jamaat) cannot play with your fate again,” Hasina said.
The Awami League chief and her sister Sheikh Rehana offered prayers at grave of their father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungiparha before formally hitting the campaign trail.
Supporters carrying placards, banners and festoons waited at different places on their way to Goapalganj from Dhaka. Hasina also waved at them.
Addressing the rally, Hasina pledged to free Bangladesh from poverty, hunger and homelessness if she becomes the prime minister for the fourth time.
She also gave accounts of the achievements of her government in the past 10 years during her second and third terms.
“No-one gets deprived after voting for ’boat’,” she remarked.
Rehana attended the rally but did not deliver speech.
Actors Ferdous Ahmed and Riaz Uddin Ahmed Siddique, who are campaigning for the Awami League, told the rally that they wanted Hasina to be reelected to uphold the spirit of independence and continue development.
She has been elected six times from the seat comprising Tungiparha and Kotaliparha.
She returned to her ancestral home at Tungiparha after the rally at Kotaliparha. She will stay there overnight and resume campaign on Thursday morning.
The prime minister is expected to address rallies planned at Bhanga, Faridpur, Rajbarhi, Arwa Union, Paturia, Manikganj Municipality, Rabeya Medical College Hospital premises in Dhamrai and Ward-5 in Savar.