BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has said her party cannot be kept away from the 11th parliamentary polls even if the government attempts to do so.
“BNP will go to the polls as it’s a pro-election party. Our party can’t be kept out of the electoral race this time even if they (government) want to,” she said yesterday, reports UNB.
The BNP chief further said: “We’ll surely join the elections but it has to be held under a neutral and non-party government, not under Sheikh Hasina as the entire world knows no fair election can be held under her.”
Khaleda came up with the remarks while speaking at a discussion, held at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) auditorium yesterday. It was arranged by Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal marking its 39th founding anniversary.
She said if the government plants to announce the general elections after arresting BNP leaders and activists it will not work this time. “No election like the one held in 2014 will be take place in the country. It’ll be held with the participation of all parties, including BNP.”
Though Chhatra Dal’s discussion was scheduled to be held at the IEB auditorium around 2pm, the authorities kept the auditorium locked, saying police cancelled permission for the event on security grounds as President Abdul Hamid was going to attend a programme at the Supreme Court.
Khaleda arrived at the venue around 4:30pm and decided to observe a sit-in on the IEB premises, protesting the police move.
But the IEB authorities opened the gates around 5:30pm in the BNP chief’s honour, said Chhatra Dal chief Rajib Ahsan.
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BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addressing a gathering of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in front of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 | Focus Bangla
Speaking at a gathering at the front gate before the main program started, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also cautioned that countdown to the Awami League-led government’s fall from power has started as BNP and its affiliated organisations are now moving ahead with their united movement.
At a press conference earlier in the day, he had also criticised the IEB authorities, and urged them to allow Chhatra Dal to hold the program.
“The government is afraid of losing the next polls if BNP and other political parties participate in a free and fair election. That’s why the government obstructs our democratic programs,” he alleged.
He said it was unjust to keep the gates locked even after Chhatra Dal received permission to organise the program.
He claimed: “Chhatra Dal activists had gone to the venue in the morning only to find it locked. They were told that the president will go through the road (beside IEB) and the program was considered a threat to his security.”
Parts of this article was first published on Bangla Tribune