Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said police foiled BNP's demonstration at the National Press Club on Thursday as the party was holding it illegally by obstructing traffic.
“BNP was holding a demonstration while blocking the road at an important place like the National Press Club. Police had to intervene as they would not allow anybody to act illegally,” he said.
Obaidul, also the Road Transport and Bridges minister, made the remarks after examining the repair work on the Dhaka-Narayanganj link road on Friday.
BNP had planned Thursday's sit-in program to press home demands for the release of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who has been in prison since her conviction in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8. In addition to stopping the demonstration, police arrested three BNP activists.
Regarding the arrests, Obaidul said the three were wanted as the accused in a case.
“Police cannot spare the accused,” the Awami League general secretary said.
On BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's allegation that they were not given permission to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan as part of a government plot to keep the party away from the election, Obaidul said: “Since it is police who have the authority to give permission, Awami League has nothing to do with that.”
The Awami League general secretary also said that the Election Commission would ensure a level playing field at the upcoming national election after the announcement of the polls schedule.
"The Election Commission cannot do anything about ensuring a level playing field before declaring the polls schedule. However, the commission has the responsibility to ensure that all parties obey the electoral code of conduct," he added.
Earlier, the minister said the government had taken up a Tk18 crore project to repair the link road, and the work would be completed before the monsoon season.
Officials and engineers of the Roads and Highways Department were present at the time.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com