BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Tuesday warned that her party cannot be kept away from the 11th parliamentary elections even if the government tries 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 election race this time even if they want to,” she said.
The BNP chief further said, “We’ll surely join the election 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 at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) arranged by Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal marking its 39th founding anniversary.
She said if the government thinks it will announce the election after arresting BNP leaders and activists, it will not work this time. “No election like the one held in 2014 will be held in the country. It’ll be held with the participation of all parties, including BNP.”
Khaleda said the general election cannot be held under the current Prime Minister, government and parliament as they are not elected by people. “So, the election will have to be held under a neutral government dissolving the present parliament”.
She alleged that a stalemate has been created in the country as everything is happening at the ‘behest of the Prime Minister’. “The country can’t run this way. People didn’t liberate the country to be ruled by a single person.”
The BNP chief accused the government of forcing Chief Justice SK Sinha to quit at ‘gunpoint’, saying its intention is not good as it has not yet appointed the new Chief Justice.
She alleged that the government is staging dramas in the name of anti-militancy drives branding innocent people militants only to get sympathy from the foreign countries.
She came down hard on the government for what she said its failure to control the soaring prices of essentials, including rice and pulse.
The BNP chief also alleged that the government is destroying the country indulging in widespread corruption, plundering and various irregularities in the name of development.
Khaleda urged the leaders and activists of her party and its associate bodies, including JCD, to get united maintain discipline and chain of command to get success in their efforts to restore a people’s government.
She also warned that the party high-ups are observing the activities of all-level leaders and activists.
Though the JCD’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 programme on security ground as President Abdul Hamid had 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 obstruction to her party’s student wing’s programme.
However, the sit-in programme was withdrawn as the IEB authorities opened the auditorium around 5:20 pm in the face of agitation by the leaders and activists of BNP and JCD.