Secretary General of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said that without leveling the playing field, conducting a general election will not be allowed.
Addressing the launch of a member assembly event of the party as chief guest at Ashwini Kumar Town Hall in Barisal city, the BNP secretary general said that the party chairperson has been accused in 34 cases lodged against her.
Thus, an election cannot be possible when BNP leaders and activists are forced to roam the balcony of the court while Awami League (AL) activists conduct the election while airborne on a helicopter, he said.
The AL-led government conducted the last election under their government, formed by a voter-less non participatory election process on January 5, 2014. Thus, they will not hesitate in rigging and corrupting the recent local government elections, he added.
The programme was presided over by the city BNP president and Joint Secretary General Mojibor Rahman Sarwar and was addressed by leaders of the party and front organisations.
Fakhrul further said, not the BNP leaders, but the AL leaders have fled from the country.
The ruling AL-led government has snatched freedom of speech from the people and barred public meetings, processions and other activities of BNP. This time, however, it will not be allowed, the secretary general said.
The AL wants to introduce the one-party BKSAL system, but the BNP founder, leaders and activists believe in a multi-party system of liberal democracy, he said.
Making note of a statement by AL Secretary General Obaidul Quader, that the BNP chairperson fled from the country, the BNP secretary general said that AL leaders had fled the country during the Liberation War and 1/11 government.
However, the BNP founder fought against the occupying army on the battlefield and never fled, he said. The AL leader returned from the USA after assuring the US government of the legality of the 1/11 government.
Fakhrul called on the BNP activists to not only cast their votes, but also guard the polling centres to prevent rigging if BNP participates in the election.
Other speakers at the event said 500 BNP activists have been killed or abducted, and 88,000 have been accused in 800,000 cases, including 86 cases lodged against the party secretary general who was jailed five times in the last eight years.
The second session of the Barisal BNP programme was ongoing as of the filing of this report on Tuesday afternoon.