Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh will plunge into an era of darkness if her party doesn't remain in power.
"If the Awami League does not remain in power, the country will again return to the era of darkness. But, I know, the people of Bangladesh will not want to go back to the darkness," she said.
She made the remarks while addressing a reception accorded to her by the US chapter of the Awami League in the Holiday Express Inn Hotel here on Wednesday.
Describing 29 years of the BNP-Jamaat governments as the era of darkness, the Prime Minister said they did nothing for the people during the period rather to make their own fortune.
"The BNP-Jamaat clique has erased 29 years from the life of Bangladeshi people. Somehow, the Awami League has bridged the gap of the years by conducting massive development across the country from 2009 to till the date," she said.
Bangladesh has attained recognition as a developing country during the period due to running the country with specific plans alongside having continued democratic process and stability in the country since 2009 in line with her government's Vision 2041 mentioned in 2008 election manifesto, she said.
The Prime Minister said her government has been preparing to start its journey as a developing nation from 2026 and for which they have formed a committee led by her Principal Secretary to find ways to smoothen the journey towards development and prosperity.
"I know, if the Awami League remains in power, Bangladesh's journey as a developing country will face no difficulty," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the next general election is vital for Bangladesh for this reason and they have already formed a committee to formulate the election manifesto as part of taking preparation for the next general polls.
"I have trust and confidence in the people of Bangladesh. The masses still believe that the Awami League only can change the fate of them and make the country's development sustainable," she said.
She said the people of the country are her near and dear ones as she lost everything including her father, mother and brothers on August 15 in 1975.
"The people of Bangladesh are my strength. The countrymen are my family and I am running the state keeping that in my mind," she said.
She said they have been giving the landless and homeless home free of cost, reaching healthcare services to every doorstep through community clinics, giving stipends to 2.5 crore students to make sure the countrymen won't suffer anymore.
"We have been doing everything in a planned way to ensure the country's march towards development and prosperity," she said.
She said none of the people of the country of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will remain homeless and ultra poor.
The Prime Minister said they have built Digital Bangladesh and turned Bangladesh into a developing nation as per 2008 election manifesto and are now pursuing to transform the country into a "Smart Bangladesh" as the journey towards development will be continued.
"Stay alert as none can play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of the country," she told the countrymen.
Terming the BNP-Jamaat as the terrorist political parties, the premier said their character has yet been changed as they are hatching conspiracy at home and abroad to undermine the image of the country on the global stage.
"Their (BNP-Jamaat clique) character is yet to change. So, they are out to undermine the country through hatching conspiracies and spreading propaganda," she said, adding: "We have to give them a good reply showcasing the huge development works conducted by the Awami League across the country at home and abroad.
The Prime Minister asked leaders and workers of the US chapter of the Awami League to make their communication stronger with congressmen, senate members and local government representatives of their localities in America and apprise them of Bangladesh's development and the BNP-Jamaat clique's falsehood and conspiracy to undermine Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of the Awami, said her party had started struggling for the rights of the people since its birth that included the Language Movement, Six-Point Demand and War of Liberation.
"The development of Bangladesh has been possible due to having the Awami League in power. Nobody else will work for the country's development with such devotion and love. We want the advancement to be continued and none can hinder it," she said.
The Prime Minister arrived in Washington DC on September 23 from New York after attending the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session and other high-level side and bilateral meetings from September 17-22.