The next general election in the country will be held in the first week of January 2024, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared at a public rally in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday.
Addressing the huge rally at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium, the prime minister reiterated her call to the people to vote for Awami League to sustain the country's development momentum.
"I am urging all of you to cast your vote for the symbol boat," she said.
The jubilant people raised their hands when Sheikh Hasina, who is also the president of the Awami League, asked them if they would vote for her party. She expressed gratitude to the crowd.
The rally, organised by Cox's Bazar Awami League, was presided over by its acting president Advocate Faridul Islam Chowdhury.
PM Hasina said the ruling AL was able to come to power for three consecutive terms as the people gave their verdict in favour of the boat, the party's election symbol.
"From 2009 to 2022 there is a democratic process in the country leading to unprecedented development in the country. Bangladesh has got recognition as a developing country," she said.
At the outset of the rally, the PM inaugurated 29 development projects, and laid foundation stones of four schemes involving Tk1,963.86 crore.
PM Hasina highlighted a number of initiatives her government has launched to mitigate the woes of the lower middle class and low-income people declaring that as long as she is in power it is her responsibility to look after the welfare of the people of this country.
"As the daughter of the Father of the Nation, it is my duty to look after your welfare as long as I am in power," she said.
She once again slammed the BNP and its ally Jamaat for causing miseries to the people.
"Arson terrorism, killing, murder, looting, money laundering, smuggling country's money to abroad, smuggling these all they can do," she said.
She also mentioned that Khaleda Zia embezzled the money of an orphanage and for that reason she had been convicted of corruption for ten years.
"And her son Tarique Rahman, known for syphoning off country's money, had been convicted for seven years and a fine of Tk20 crore as fine," she said about trial by court.
Sheikh Hasina also mentioned that Tarique Zia was involved in arms smuggling on board 10 trucks.
"I do not know for what purpose he brought those arms," she asked.
The AL chief said on 21 August 2004 Khaleda Zia and Tarique Zia and their companions had hurled grenades, which are used in wars, on AL rally leaving 22 AL members dead.
"But I narrowly escaped with the grace of Almighty Allah," she said.
She said that BNP always pampers looters, militants, syphons off country's money and kill people through arson attacks.
"Can a human being kill another human with fire? she asked. This movement of BNP, Tarique Zia and Khaleda Zia is aimed at killing people through arson attacks. They do not know anything without destruction," she said.