Senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday alleged that the government was delaying the delivery of the certified copy of the verdict against Khaleda Zia only to prolong her stay in jail.
Speaking at a discussion in Dhaka, Moudud warned that people would give a befitting reply through ballots to the government's “vengeful attitude” towards the BNP chairperson.
"The verdict was pronounced on February 8, but we still did not get a certified copy of it. They (government) are resorting ploy to keep Khaleda in jail as long as they can," he said.
The discussion was organized by Jatiyatabadi Sangskritik Dal at the National Press Club protesting Khaleda’s jailing in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Moudud, a member of BNP’s National Standing Committee, said the government's popularity was on the wane for showing a vengeful attitude towards Khaleda.
He said they would move the apex court to file an appeal against the verdict and seek bail for her as soon as they get the verdict’s certified copy.
The former law minister hoped that the court would grant bail to Khaleda.
He alleged that the former prime minister was jailed with a false allegation of appropriating orphans' money to defame and belittle her. "The government would not be able to make any political gain with it."
He said people – even many Awami League supporters – did not like the way Khaleda was sent to jail and the government was treating her.
Moudud said they will continue their movement alongside taking preparations for the next general polls. "We must join the next election as people want it."
"We will carry out the movement and create an atmosphere to force the government to hold the next national polls under a non-party neutral administration. Only Awami League will face the dire consequences in that election," he added.
The BNP leader alleged that Khaleda had been kept in solitary confinement at the abandoned old Dhaka central jail violating the existing jail code, law, and the constitution.
He said the government had created a political instability by taking Khaleda to jail. "The government is solely responsible for it. They have shut all the doors to a political understanding through it."
Moudud said their party now has two challenges – bringing Khaleda out of jail and forcing government to take proper steps – for arranging a credible election.
He said the country's people think the national election cannot be held in a free and fair manner under a political government. "People also won't allow anyone to hold any election without the participation of Khaleda Zia and BNP."
He said it would be a blunder of the government if it thinks it can weaken BNP with repressive acts.
Earlier at a press conference, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also alleged that the court was not giving the certified copy of the verdict due to government “obstruction”.
As per the rule, he said, the court should provide the certified copy within five days of delivering the verdict. "But they are violating the rules. It has manifested the government's interference in the judiciary."
He said the government was delaying the process of providing the verdict copy also exposed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Special Envoy HM Ershad were the masterminds behind Khaleda's conviction.
Rizvi said people have a perception that the court was buying time now to amend the verdict as per Awami League's directions.