Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday alleged that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is staging a drama in the name of attack on them to misguide the US following its announcement of the new visa policy.
“The drama has already been staged at Keraniganj in Dhaka and in Khagrachhari. The Awami League men are being made attackers in the drama,” he said while addressing a rally at Madhya Badda in the capital.
The US in its visa policy said it would be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
“The US visa policy will benefit Awami League while it has put BNP in an awkward position. They lodged complaints to the US seeking sanctions against Awami League. But, now they’ve come under the new visa policy. Because, the US won’t issue visa for those who carry out vandalism, arson attacks and anarchy in elections,” Quader said.
He also said they have no problem with the visa policy as they want to hold a free, fair and acceptable election. “We’ve already set the example through the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election,” he said.
The AL spokesperson said the government has no headache with the visa policy. “Awami League is not afraid of anybody at home and abroad.”
Like the GCC polls, elections in the rest of the city corporations will be fair and free, he assured.
He said they are ready to prevent vote rigging, militancy and arson attack. “We’ll play the final game in the next general election. The game will take place between ‘Boat’ and ‘Sheaf of Paddy’,” he said, adding that the country’s people no longer want the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, the electoral symbol of BNP.
“People call the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ a stomach pain. Somebody compares the symbol to the snake venom. Now, ‘Boat’ is the only symbol of all,” Quader said.
He also asked the leaders and activists of AL and its associate bodies to get ready for the polls.
Posing a question to his BNP counterpart Mirza Fakhrul, the AL leader said, “Why are you afraid of coming to elections if you have so much confidence?”
“Actually, BNP is afraid of Sheikh Hasina as she is the most popular leader in the 48-year history of the country,” he said. Addressing the programme, AL Presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak said they will give a befitting reply if any further attempt is made to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Dhaka-11 constituency MP AKM Rahmat Ullah and AL Organising Secretary Mirza Azam, among others, addressed the rally with Dhaka North City unit President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman in the chair.
After the rally, a protest procession was brought out from Madhya Badda which ended at Bashtala on the Pragati Sarani.