BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday said their party is still struggling to recover from the 'losses' it suffered during its movements before and after the 2014 national election.
“As BNP is a liberal democratic party, no one should expect this party to stage a revolution. The party will move forward in its own fashion. We’re always on a movement…we go to court, hold discussions, and join polls as part of our movement,” he said.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion, the BNP leader also said they will move ahead together with people to hold a big movement, but they do not want to suffer a big blow like the 2015 one with any imprudent movement decision.
“We got experience during the movements of the 2014 election and in 2015. We’re still finding it difficult to recoup the losses we suffered through the movements at that time,” he observed.
Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad arranged the programme on the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the polls at the Jatiya Press Club.
Fakhrul said frustration can be there among the leaders and activists of their party leaders and activists as they have long been subjected to repressive acts like killing, enforced disappearance and repression. “We must inspire them to move ahead.”
He said people will take to the streets and be out in the field if proper political atmosphere prevails. “A huge number of people is now taking part in our processions centring the city corporation polls. We’ll surely be successful if we can organise them and lead them to a movement.”
The BNP leader also hoped that their party candidates will come out successful in the two city polls foiling all conspiracies. “We’ve taken part in the election to win it, not to get defeated.”
BNP’s mayoral candidate for the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) election Tabith Awal on Thursday demanded that voting be held with ballot papers, saying people are still not ready to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
He also urged the Hindu voters to cast their votes in favour of the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, the election symbol of BNP, and thus give a reply to the injustice done to them fixing the election date on January 30 which coincides with Saraswati Puja.
Tabith started his election campaign on the seventh day on Thursday from in front of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex in the city’s Panthapath area.
Talking to reporters there, the BNP candidate said, “Considering the overall situation, we think people are still not ready to cast their votes using EVMs.”
He said the Election Commission (EC) itself has admitted that they have not sufficient trained manpower to conduct the voting through the EVMs. “We’re not against the technology, but we’re opposing the system.”
Tabith said the commission should have trained people from long time ago about using the EVMs to conduct the voting through those.
He called upon the Election Commission to back off from its decision of using EVMs in the polls as he said most voters do not want it.
The BNP candidate alleged that the ruling party is trying to intimidate voters by carrying out various attacks and issuing threats seeing people’s overwhelming response in favour of the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.
He called upon the EC to take steps for ensuring a congenial election atmosphere.
While carrying out electioneering in West Tejturi Para, Tabith criticised the Election Commission and the government for fixing the date of voting on January 30. “We think they did it deliberately. It has exposed that the government doesn’t equally respect all the religions.”
The BNP candidate urged the Hindu voters not to boycott the polls and give their verdict in favour of BNP.
Later, Tabith carried out election campaign in Green Road, Tejgaon College, Indira Road, Khamarbari, Monipuripara, Aulad Hossin Market, Agargaon, Pirerbagh, Rokeya Swarani, Taltala Staff Quarters and Shyamoli areas.
Voicing fear that the government may try to bring the two Dhaka city polls in its favour using law enforcers, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday warned that their party will not sit idle this time if it happens.
Speaking at the biennial conference of Nilphamari district unit BNP at Shilpakala Academy, he also said their party has already achieved a victory in the elections to Dhaka south and north city corporations as a huge number of people came out in the field in favour of their party candidates.
“The current regime is a fascist one which is controlling the Election Commission. It earlier took the elections’ results to its favour by using police, Rab and other forces. They’ll make same efforts this time, too,” the BNP leader said.
He further said, “If they do it, we won’t sit idle this time as we’ve taken part in the polls as part of our movement.”
Fakhrul said when their party is not allowed to go out in filed and hold political programmes, people are giving an overwhelming response to the call of their mayoral candidates in the capital. ”People in their thousands are taking to the filed with our candidates. We also came out in the filed through the election. It’s a victory of us.”
As BNP is a democratic party, he said it wants to go to power through the election, not any other undemocratic way. “We don’t have arms in our hands. So, we must organise people to go to power through elections.”
The BNP leader said the nation is passing through a very critical time as the government has snatched people’s all rights and destroyed democracy and all state organisations.
“Awami League has insulted the Liberation War and violated the constitution by usurping power and snatching people’s rights. They (AL) must be put on the trial of public court someday,” he warned.
Fakhrul called upon people to wage a movement at every village to ‘get rid of misrule’ of the government and protect the country.
A court here on Wednesday framed charges against Ishraque Hossain, the BNP candidate in the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) polls, in a corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Passing the order, Judge of the Dhaka Special Judge Court-4 Sheikh Nazmul Alam also fixed February 9 for the formal trial to start with the deposition of witnesses.
Ishraque Hossain, also son of late former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation and BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka, was present at the dock.
ACC Deputy Director Jahangir Hossain, also investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge-sheet against him on December 6, 2018.
On May 5 last year, a court issued a warrant for Ishraque’s arrest after accepting charges against him in his absence.
Ishraque surrendered before the court on December 9 last and secured bail in the case.
ACC Assistant Director Shamsul Alam filed two cases with Ramna Police Station on August 29 and 30, 2010 against Ishraque and his sister Sarika Sadeque.
According to the case statements, during a primary inquiry into the wealth of Ishraque and Sarika, the ACC found that they acquired wealth worth about Tk 5 crore beyond known sources of income.
On September 1, 2008, it asked them to submit their wealth statements within seven days which they failed to do.
As per the ACC findings, Ishraque has illegal wealth worth about Tk 3 crore while Sarika possesses wealth worth about Tk 2 crore.
Meanwhile, the case proceedings against Sarika Sadeque remained halted following a High Court order.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday alleged that the nation is now passing through a very tough time as internal enemies are snatching people’s all the basic rights, including freedom.
The BNP leader also warned that Awami League will have to face a trial at people’s court one day for turning Bangladesh into a ‘failed state’ and running society with its ‘misrule’.
“The nation is going through a very bad time. Even, we didn’t face such worst situation during the 1971. The nation fought against external enemies during the 1971, but now internal enemies have been the biggest enemies of the nation,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “Internal enemies are now snatching the liberty of people of Bangladesh and depriving them of their all the basic rights, including the freedom of speech.”
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a public rally in Bhulli Kumarpur High School field under Thakurgaon Sadar Upazila.
Fakhrul said the country’s economy and the governing system have collapsed as the government has no accountability to people.
“Farmers are not getting the due price of paddy, but the rice price is soaring. The prices of daily essentials, including onion, have increased unusually, but the framers are not getting the fair prices of their produces,” he observed.
The BNP leader said workers at different factories are being deprived of their due wages while jute mills are getting destroyed.
He alleged that though the government used to talk about the development of the country, the fate of farmers, workers and had-working people remained unchanged.
The BNP leader said the government has kept their party chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail ‘unfairly’ only to hang onto power.
He said the murder accused are given bail but Khaleda is being deprived of her rights to get bail.
Fakhrul alleged that the government has established one-party Baksal rule in a new style undercover of democracy.
He said judges now cannot work independently since the government has snatched the independence of the judiciary. “People in 1971 didn’t fight for liberating the country just to keep one party in power forever.”
Recalling the role of the youth in the 1952 Language Movement and the Liberation War in 1971, the BNP leader called upon the young generation to come forward to restore democracy in the country and free Khaleda Zia from jail.