REF: Bangladesh will be crippled the moment the schedule for the 10th parliamentary election is announced without constituting a non-party government to oversee the polls, the BNP has warned.
The party’s acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir warned this while addressing an 18-Party alliance rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Friday.
He also urged the Opposition supporters to “come down onto the streets”.
He also announced demonstrations on Sunday at Upazilas, Thanas and municipalities across the country to push for election under a non-party government.
“All our options have closed… Independence and democracy will be destroyed if this government returns to power,” Fakhrul told the rally.
He called on the people to take to the streets against the incumbent Awami League-led Grand Alliance government.
He also termed the ‘all-party’ polls-time interim cabinet illegal. “The Opposition Leader had met the President for a solution to the crisis. But he [President] is yet to take any steps.
But the Prime Minister has told Parliament that she has received the President’s approval to lead the election-time government. The government has closed the ways to find a way out of the crisis.”
The government was moving forward aiming to hold a unilateral polls ignoring the people’s demand, said the BNP spokesperson.
However, earlier in the day, Election Commissioner Shah Nawaz indicated that the election schedule may be announced on the first or second day of the next week to conduct polling in early January.
Taking a dig at the Election Commissioner, Fakhrul said, “The Election Commission is the government’s puppet. The Commission is makings one after another law to help them [ruling party] win [the election].”
“I heard that the Election Commission will announce the schedule next week. We want to make it clear – we won’t accept if the schedule is announced without constituting the non-party government.”
The BNP acting Secretary General also criticised the government move to ‘control’ political rallies and gatherings and heavy police presence in front of the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters.
“This government has buried democracy. It cannot be allowed to return to power. If it returns the country will lose its independence and sovereignty,” he said.
He also questioned the transparency of the tribunals set up to expedite the trials of the war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War citing international concerns.
Addressing the rally, BNP Standing Committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said the government was trying to hold a ‘one-sided’ election to control the polls through a ‘remote’.
The BNP would never allow such election, he warned.
Party’s Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had violated the Constitution by forming the illegal cabinet. “Unilateral election under this illegal minister [Prime Minister] will not be allowed.”
The Hasina-led government may hatch as many plots as they want, but it would be ousted by the second week of December, Jatiya Ganatantrik Party Chairman Shafiul Alam Prodhan told the rally. “Nobody will be able to stop their fall.”
National Democratic Party Chairman Khandaker Golam Murtoja threatened to lay a siege on the Election Commission if the poll schedule is announced.
“Their water and gas supply will be stopped. They won’t be able to get any food there.”
Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Redwan Ahmed, Jamaat-e-Islami Executive Council member Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher also addressed the rally among other Opposition coalition leaders.
The rally at Suhrawardy Udyan had begun at 3pm in the afternoon with BNP Dhaka metropolitan unit Convenor Khoka presiding over it and Jamaat’s student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir leader Atikur Rahman Atik making the opening speech.