Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Monday that her government has nothing to do if opposition BNP does not take part in the next national election.
“The next parliamentary elections will be held in time in line with the constitution. The government has nothing to do if any party wants to skip the polls,” she told a press conference at Ganabhaban in the capital.
The premier came up with the assertion, turning a deaf ear to the BNP’s threat of foiling the election if it is held without the participation of its chairperson Khaleda Zia in it.
“They (BNP) were not able to foil the 2014 general election. This time, they will not also be able to do so. The parties which believe in democracy will participate in the polls,” she said.
Referring to the BNP’s threat, Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, said it is the democratic right of any party to contest the polls.
“It’s an intra-party decision whether any party will contest the polls or not. The polls will not wait for none,” she said.
Highlighting the BNP’s mayhem carried out in 2013-15, the premier said they burnt some 500 people to death while 3,000 others were injured critically.
Speaking on Khaleda’s five-year conviction in a graft case, the premier said the government had nothing to do with the verdict.
“A court has delivered the verdict. We cannot withdraw the verdict. If they don’t want to participate in the elections over the issue, we have nothing to do,” she said.
“The party (BNP), which was born unconstitutionally, issues such a threat. It’s the character of the party,” she said, mentioning BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s role in forming the party and assuming office unconstitutionally.
Sheikh Hasina bitterly criticised the BNP for amending its constitution to pave the way for corrupt persons to hold party posts.
“The party (BNP) makes a fugitive person (Tarique Rahman) its acting chief. Is there not a single leader who can be made its acting chairperson?” she said.
Without mentioning the name of Tarique, the premier said the person has gone to London after giving an undertaken during the last army-backed caretaker regime that he will not involve in politics any more.
“Instead of picking up someone from my family, I have made Zillur Rahman as the acting president of the party,” she said.
Responding to a question about question leaks, the premier said it was nothing new as such practice had been going on for years.
“Question leakage is taking place due to the technological advancement,” she said.
Expressing her government’s firm stance on addressing the practice, she said her government will take measures if anyone is found involved with the wrongdoings.
Finance minister AMA Muhith, agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, road transport and bridge minister Obaidul Quader and information minister Hasanul Haque Inu were present.