Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said AL will not flee from the country, rather it will continue its development work — taking the countrymen with it.

“Awami League never runs away, rather it always works for the country, taking people with them. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, with his own hands, formed this organisation,” she said.

The prime minister said this while addressing a mammoth rally at the historical Madrasa Maidan in Rajshahi city.

She said that BNP leaders are saying many things unnecessarily.

“That is not all; they are giving us notices, they are saying we won’t find a way to flee (faced with the anti-government movement of BNP and its allies),” she said.

She said those who formed alliances with BNP and Jamaat are the ones who fled.

“Awami League never runs away, never backtracks,” she said.

In this connection, she said that even Ziaur Rahman tried to stop her from returning to the country after the assassination of the Father of the Nation.

“I returned to the country, defying that restriction,” she said.

In 2007, she said, when the caretaker government came to power, she went abroad as her daughter-in-law (Sajeeb Wazed’s wife) was unwell.

Sheikh Hasina said that her daughter-in-law had given birth. “I went there to see her, then I was not allowed to return to the country (by the caretaker government). I somehow managed to return to the country. Even a murder case was filed against me. I said then that I will go back to the country and face the case. I came back, just for the sake of the people of Bangladesh.”

“Those who are saying that AL will not get a chance to escape, I am telling them, rather your leaders always run away.”

She said that BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman had been convicted in a corruption case.

She said BNP leaders might have forgotten that in 2007 Tarique Rahman went abroad with the undertaking that he will “never do politics”.

“Khaleda and Tarique are convicted in corruption cases. The government has brought back some Tk40 crore of the money Khaleda Zia siphoned abroad through Tarique and Arafat Rahman,” she said.

“Will they (BNP leaders) be able to answer this,” she asked.

She said that whenever AL came to power, the fate of the people of Bangladesh changed.

She requested the people of Rajshahi to cast their votes for ‘boat’ (electoral symbol of AL) in the next election, for the sake of continuing the country’s development and making it into a “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041.

Briefly describing various development programmes of the government for Rajshahi, she said in the last 14 years, some Tk10,660 crore worth of projects were implemented for Rajshahi district and city.

She urged the affluent section of Rajshahi to come forward to build an international standard hotel in Rajshahi so that the government could arrange international cricket matches there.

Acting president of Rajshahi City Awami League Mohammad Ali Kamal presided over the meeting.

AL presidium members Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Rajshahi City Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, AL general secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Information And Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shariar Alam, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, AL organising secretary SM Kamal, AL central working committee member Nurul Islam Thandu and BCL president Saddam Hossain also spoke.

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