The prime minister pointed out that the “prevent boat” campaigners were
now claiming “they will bring back democracy in the country”.

“But if democracy doesn’t exist in the country how the people elected
their candidates of choice by casting votes,” she asked.

Sheikh Hasina said over six thousand elections including local government
body polls were held in the last nine and a half years and the people elected
their candidates through voting.

“The voting rights of the people are now in their own hands,” she said.

The Awami League president said introduction of transparent ballot box and
a flawless voter list with photographs was the demand of her party so that
the people could exercise their franchise freely and elect representatives of
their choice.

She said during the two successive tenures of her government Bangladesh
graduated to a developing country from the LDC group, achieved 7.78 percent
GDP growth and brought down inflation to 5.6 percent benefitting the common

“But it’s unfortunate that we have to listen from some people that
achievements of higher GDP and becoming developing country are not good,” she

The premier said those who amassed wealth at home and abroad and changed
their own fortune by bringing money from abroad through showing our poor and
thin people were making such propaganda to misguide the people.

She expressed her doubt whether the quarters who think that achievements
of higher GDP and becoming developing country are not good really believe in
the country’s existence and independence.

The prime minister said her government would take the country forward
further by keeping up the achievements of higher GDP growth and graduation of
developing country.