Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said her government has been taking all necessary measures to protect the people’s voting rights.
“The people of this country will enjoy all sorts of their rights. Their basic rights, voting rights and democratic rights will remain ensured. It”s our only goal and we’ve been working for this,” she said.
The premier was addressing the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected mayor and councillors of Comilla City Corporation in the city’s Osmani Smriti Auditorium through a video conference from her official residence Ganabhaban.
She said the government wants the socio-economic development of Bangladesh through maintaining the democratic environment. “It is our main goal and we’ve been working for it,” she added.
Hasina, also the president of Awami League, said her party has been striving for establishment of rights of the people since its formation. AL had been formed to protest against injustice, she added.
About the recent Cumilla City election, she said the people could exercise their voting rights spontaneously in the very competitive election held amid festive atmosphere.
“They had been able to make the candidates of their choice win with their votes here. I think it is an example in electoral history,” she added.
Noting that now it is the era of technology, the PM said most of the countries across the world use technology and electoral voting machines in the election.
She said the recent Narayanganj City election was also one of the most peaceful polls.
“We’ve been taking all the necessary measures so the people can enjoy their voting rights and their rights remain ensured,” she added.
Hasina also mentioned the AL’s role to reform and strengthen the electoral process through its different proposals like introduction of transplant ballot boxes and preparation of electoral voter lists with photographs.
Welcoming new mayor and councillors of Cumilla City, the PM asked them to work with honesty for the welfare every one and area notwithstanding who voted for them or not.
“Don’t consider who gave votes for you or not. Rather it is your duty to ensure the socio-economic development of every person and equal development of every area. You have to pay attention to ensure balanced development,” she said.
She said her government has been working for the development of the people of every area and the people are now getting its benefits.
PM Hasina said the development of grassroots people is in the centre of all development programmes taken by her government.
In this context, she asked the newly elected public representatives to keep in mind while designing any development project that how much the people and the country will benefit from it.
“You should discharge your duty and responsibility properly so that the trust the people put on you through their votes is not broken. You’ll have to consolidate this trust. You’ll have to pay your attention to this,” she said.
The premier said a Tk 1,538 crore project titled “Cumilla City Corporation’s Integrated Infrastructure Development” is now being implemented after approval from the ECNEC for sustainable development of Cumilla.
Not naming immediate past BNP mayor Monirul Huque Sakku, she said a man of a different political party was at the helm of this city when its implementation started. But the government didn’t consider his political identity, rather only the development of Cumilla.
Citing other developments related to waste management, electricity generation from wastes, and construction of bus and truck terminals in the Cumilla City, Hasina asked the new public representatives to ensure that the projects are implemented properly.
“Keep one word in your mind that if you work with honesty and the people get benefits, the larger number of people will vote for you,” she said.
Talking about the price hike of commoditues in the international markets as a fallout of current war and Covid-19 pandemic, the PM asked the people to exercise austerity in the use of fuels – petrol and diesel– and electricity.
In the function, Arfanul Huque Rifat was sworn in as the mayor of Cumilla City Corporation who beat his nearest rival Monirul Huque Sakku running as Awami League candidate in the election held on June 15 last.
The PM virtually administered the oath.
Besides, 36 elected councillors including nine women for reserved seats were sworn in. LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islam administered their oath.