Jashore has taken on a festive look as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in the district five years after her previous visit.
A helicopter carrying the prime minister landed at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman in Jashore around 10:30 am on Thursday. She received salutes and enjoyed a military parade at Bangladesh Air Force Academy in the district afterwards.
The prime minister was scheduled to address a rally organised by the Jashore District Awami League at Shamsul Huda Stadium in the afternoon. The city has been decorated with banners, festoons and arches marking the occasion.
Jashore District Awami League President Shahidul Islam Milon said the last visit of the prime minister to Jashore was on Dec 31, 2017. Her arrival in the city after a five-year gap has created excitement among the leaders and activists.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had given a speech at the stadium on Dec 24, 1972. Hasina will deliver a speech at the same stadium fifty years after her father.
Thousands of ruling party leaders and activists have started to gather at the stadium, leading colourful processions through the city to take part in the rally since the morning. Around 400,000 people are expected to join the rally, according to Awami League leaders.
“The venue has been decorated with a red carpet to welcome the prime minister to the stage. The back screen of the stage was designed by the fine arts students of the city” said Abdul Majid, vice-president of Jashore District Awami League.
“Extensive preparations have been made to turn the rally into a sea of people. In addition to Jashore, leaders and activists from every district in Khulna Division are also on their way to join the event,” Jashore-3 MP Kazi Nabil Ahmed said.
Reiterating the demand to announce Jashore as a division, Nabil said the ruling party leaders will present multiple demands - including the formation of Jashore City Corporation, construction of a 500-bed medical college hospital and renovation of Bhairab River, to the prime minister on behalf of the people, seeking her consideration and implementation in the future.
Adequate security measures have been taken to ensure safety at the rally, according to the police.
“A sufficient number of law enforcers have been deployed in the area. Plain-clothes security personnel are also keeping a sharp eye on the event,” said Proloy Kumar Joarder, superintendent of Jashore police.