All parties to join next polls, hopes PM


DHAKA, July 23, 2018 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her firm optimism that all political parties would join the next parliamentary elections to be held at the end of this year as visiting UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Rushanara Ali, MP, paid a courtesy call on her.

“The issue of the next (general) polls came up during their meeting where the prime minister hoped that all would take part in the elections,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting held at Ganabhaban here this afternoon.

Sheikh Hasina said the Election Commission conducted more than 6,000 local government body elections and Jatiya Sangsad by-polls during the current tenure of her government, which were free and fair.

She said uninterrupted democracy continues in the UK, but Bangladesh’s democracy was impeded time and again by military rulers in Bangladesh. “So, many welfare oriented programmes were stopped here,” she added.

The premier said her government has a plan to introduce bullet trains from Dhaka to Chattogram, Sylhet, Dinajpur and Barishal for further development of the communication system.

She recalled British collaboration in the development works of Bangladesh in IT and energy sectors during the first tenure of her government.

The prime minister apprised Rushanara Ali of the steps so far taken to encourage education including providing financial support to the female students.

Mentioning that the government wants to expand railway network further, Sheikh Hasina said Dhaka-Payra railway connectivity will be set up with British collaboration and the British company that first constructed the rail line in this subcontinent will set up the Dhaka-Payra railway.

Rushanara Ali said they are committed to building strong trade relations with Bangladesh and Brexit will not be any barrier to this end.

She highly praised the development of Bangladesh in different socio-economic indexes.

Prime Minister’s daughter and noted autism activist Saima Wazed Hossain, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake were present.

Rushanara Ali arrived Bangladesh on Saturday evening on a five-day visit to discuss how trade and investment ties between the two countries can be strengthened further.