The party also says parliament should be dissolved before the election
BNP has demanded the release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail before the announcement of the schedule of the upcoming national election.
The party also demanded that all cases against Khaleda and party leaders and activists be withdrawn.
“Khaleda Zia should be released before the announcement of polls schedule,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said while speaking at a rally marking the party’s 40thfounding anniversary at Naya Paltan on Saturday.
He also called for dissolution of the parliament before the election which is scheduled to be held in the last week of December.
The BNP leader Fakhrul said the government is trying to frame Khaleda Zia’s sonTarique Rahman, acting chairperson of the party living in London, in another case regarding the August 21 grenade attack, but people will not accept a false verdict against Tarique.
He said the military should be given the election management job for a credible election. Fakhrul called upon all to form a national unity to oust the government and restore democracy.
Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain demanded a level playing field and non-partisan government before the election.
He said investigation will be conducted to bring back millions of money looted from the country during the regime of this government.
Fakhrul asked the government to find out who made Malaysia, Canada their second home and take action against them.
Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association President and BNP Chairperson’s Adviser Zainal Abedin said Khaleda Zia has already gained bail in all cases except two cases and hoped that she will get bail in these cases very soon.
“There is no reason to deny her bail. If she is not granted bail and released on bail then we will understand that they [the government] must have some plans.”
He said they will not allow the election without Khaleda Zia.
BNP Chairperson’s Adviser Amanullah Aman said they will win the election if it is held under a non-partisan government.
He said the prime minister and the chief election commissioner should resign ahead of the election.
Vice Chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said party founder Ziaur Rahman had brought Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina back home but she deported Zia son’s Tarique Rahman from the country.
Joint Secretary Barkatullah Bulu said more than 500 leaders and activists disappeared during the government’s tenure and 78,000 cases were filed against several thousands of leaders and activists.
Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas said police raided houses of party leaders and activists in many districts on Friday to prevent them from attending the rally.
“Even then so many party activists attended the rally braving police arrest,” he said, adding that thousands of leaders and activists across the country joined the rally.
Get ready for movement to release Khaleda
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossainasked party leaders and activists to prepare for a movement to have Khaleda Ziareleased.
“We will not participate in the election without her [Khaleda],” he said.
Another Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed said they tried to release the BNP chief through legal proceedings. “We will have to take to streets to get her released.”
BNP Dhaka Metropolitan (South) unit President Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel urged the party men to form “cleaning” committee in every neighbourhood. The committee will be devoid of looters of Awami League, women harassers, machete and helmet groups, he said.
Use of EVMs in polls rejected
BNP Secretary General Fakhrul said the government wants to use the electronic voting machines (EVM) in the upcoming parliamentary election fearing a debacle.
Standing Committee Member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said people will not allow this election to take place like the previous one.
He said if the government thinks it is popular then it should make arrangementsto hold the election under a non-partisan government.
“If you [the prime minister] win the election then we will accept you,” Gayeshwar said.
BNP Organizing Secretary (Rajshahi division) Ruhul Kuddus Talukder also rejected the Election Commission’s decision to use EVMs in the election.