After leading the Awami League for around four decades, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again called on the party to pick a new chief.
The Bangladesh premier, also the president of the ruling Awami League, asked senior members of the party to think about it when they came to the Ganabhaban to greet her on 37 years of her homecoming on Thursday.
PM Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, returned home from exile in India on May 17, 1981 – around six years after Bangabandhu and his family members were murdered in their home.
Earlier in February the same year, the Awami League elected her as the chief in its national council.
In the latest party council two years ago, premier Sheikh Hasina said she would be ‘happy’ to retire given the opportunity and if the Awami League does manage to find a new leader.
She was elected party president again.
“It’s been 37 years. It probably would not be good to hold the office of president of a party for more than 37 years,” she said on Thursday.
However, leaders of the Awami League, its affiliates and professionals’ platforms backed by the party responded that they do not want anyone else.
Premier Sheikh Hasina replied with a smile, saying new leadership is a demand of time, but the reply from the followers were the same.
The Awami League president also emphasised strengthening the party by forging greater unity to stand by the people.
Recalling the day of her return, the Awami League chief said she was made president of Awami League but she did not know that herself.
“I didn’t want to take charge of such a large party like the Awami Leage,” she added, referring to the politics she did when she was a student.
The PM remembered the victims of the Aug 15, 1975 massacre and said those who did not want to see Bangladesh as an independent country carried out the killings.
“Now I am working to make true the dreams of the father of the nation,” she said.
Referring to the attempts on her life, she said she has seen death up close and is not scared of it.