Next general elections must be held under neutral govt: BNP

Staff Correspondent | Update:

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has warned the authorities against holding elections sans the opposition party or its chairperson Khaleda Zia, saying no election could be held in the country without her.

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said this in a rebuttal of ruling Bangladesh Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader’s remark that the constitution and elections will not wait for Khaleda.

“Then, will the election wait only for Sheikh Hasina? Will it depend on Sheikh Hasina whether the elections will be held? The BNP wants to say unequivocally that no election can be held without this party and its chairperson,” Rizvi told the media briefing at the BNP's Naya Paltan central office on Friday.

The BNP leader alleged that the Quader’s remark has created a fear among the people. “None can face any difficulties to understand that his remark bears clear signs of conspiracy and plot.”

The BNP leader announced that the people of the country will “resist with all of its strengths any effort to hold one-sided and controversial elections showing the constitution as an excuse.”

He went on saying, “The constitution is not a religious book that it can’t be changed. The next elections must be held under a neutral caretaker government. The government will be able to materialise none of its plots.”

Meanwhile, the BNP’s standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury on Friday alleged that the government has taken a multipurpose project to control the next polls and keep the BNP's popular leaders away from the electoral race.

"Forming a partisan election commission, conducting the election under a partisan government by partisan people and controlling the election by police, RAB, their party cadres and partisan administration are the parts of the project," he said.

Speaking at a discussion, he further said, "Making efforts to keep BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman out of the election by convicting them in false cases, mounting pressure on its popular leaders and active leaders and activist so that they cannot take part in the polls. Resorting to killing, jailing and enforced disappearance are also the parts of the multipurpose project."

Bangladesh Democratic Council arranged the discussion at the National Press Club.

Khasru warned that the government's such project will turn unsuccessful as the country's people are aware of it, and they will exercise their right to franchise braving all odds.

"We call upon you (govt) to get connected with people following a democratic path. People will this time wake up in favour of democracy, their voting rights, human rights, the rule of law and press freedom. No one will be able to resist them," he said.

The BNP leader alleged that the government has destroyed the country's election system by playing games with polls.

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