Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged the people to give a befitting reply to arson violence, BNP and Jamaat by casting their votes in the January-7 general election.

"Don't only cast your vote, but also protect your vote. Give a befitting reply to arson violence, militant and terrorist BNP and Jamaat," she said.

The AL chief said this while addressing an election rally, arranged jointly by AL Dhaka City South and North units at Kalabagan Krirachakro Field in the city's Dhanmondi area.

She asked the people of Bangladesh to stay vigilant always against arsonists BNP and Jamaat as they want to destroy the country.

"BNP and Jamaat want to snatch your votes in the upcoming election by resorting to arson violence," she said.

The PM urged the voters to go to polling stations and cast their votes in the morning on January 7 so that none can snatch away their voting rights and election.

Alleging that BNP is habituated to rig votes, she said the party is now boycotting the election as it can't steal votes.

"They don't want to run in the election, rather want to spoil election.....But they don't have so much courage to stop the election. They won't be able to do so," she went on.

She referred to the BNP's poor performance in the 2008 election, Hasina said many people had earlier thought that BNP is a very strong party and would secure more seats or equal to Awami League's in that election.

"But in reality, the people rejected them for their looting, militancy, terrorism and rise of Bangla Bhai and corruption," she said.

The AL president said BNP boycotted the 2014 election and did poorly in the 2018 election due to its nomination business.

"We heard he (Tarique) makes money by playing casino that means gambling," she said, alleging that he uses the money to create anarchy and arson violence again in Bangladesh.

Hasina said AL has won the hearts of the people by ensuring the continuation of an uninterrupted democracy, peace, socio-economic upliftment, education and housing for the people, enhancing per capita income, reaching the healthcare services to the doorsteps of the people since 2009 to 2023.

"We now get votes of the people as we've won the hearts of the people by working for them in every sector. We don't need to rig votes," she said, adding that BNP can't win without vote-rigging which was proven in the 2008 election.

Focusing on the development of Dhaka city, she cited different development projects implemented in Dhaka city.

Noting that a metro rail service has already started in Dhaka, she said the government will construct a total of six metro rail lines (Mass Rapid Transit-MRT) to remove traffic congestion in the capital.

The PM said her government has already undertaken projects to make the rivers located surrounding Dhaka, including Buriganga, Balu and Turag-- free from pollution, enhance their navigability and construct walkways on their banks.

She said the overhead cables of different services will be taken underground in phases to enhance the beauty of Dhaka and thus ensure safety of the city dwellers.

The prime minister greeted everyone on the occasion of the new year of 2024.

The AL president introduced her party's 15 candidates who are running in the 12th parliamentary election from different constituencies in Dhaka, seeking votes for them.

"I am handing over 15 jewels to you who will act as your servants. They will serve you and the people of Dhaka," she said.

The PM reached the rally venue at 3:24 pm and then she waved the national flag to a roaring response from the huge crowd.

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader, AL presidium member and AL candidate in Dhaka-13 (Mohammad-Adabar) constituency Jahangir Kabir Nanak, AL joint general secretary and AL candidate in Dhaka-8 (Ramna-Motijheel) AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Falze Noor Taposh, AL candidate in Dhaka-10 (Dhanmondi-New Market-Kalabagan and Hazaribagh) Ferdous Ahmed also spoke in the rally presided over by AL Dhaka north unit president Sheikh Bazlur Rahman.

At the outset of the event, Obaidul greeted Hasina with flowers on the occasion of the new year of 2024.

On behalf of Kalabagan Krirachakro, its general secretary and also general secretary of Awami Swechasebak League Afzalur Rahman Babu received the premier with a crest.

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