BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said the Election Commission's (EC’s) letter inviting BNP to talks is nothing but the latest strategy of the government to hold another election depriving people of their voting rights.
“Could anyone cast vote in the past? They (govt) are going to start that deed again. There’s a lot of pressure this time as the foreigners are saying that the voting like before won’t be accepted this time…that's why they’re devising new tactics. The Election Commission sent us a letter as part of the latest strategy,” he said.
Fakhrul made the remarks while speaking at a discussion arranged by BNP at Mohanagar Natya Mancha, marking the Independence Day.
He said their party’s standing committee will hold a meeting on Monday and take a decision on the EC’s letter.
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Earlier on Thursday, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal sent a demi-official letter to the BNP secretary general for taking part in a views-exchange meeting on the next national election.
The Current EC, led by Awal, held two rounds of talks with the political parties since its formation last year. However, BNP and some other political parties did not participate in the talks.
Fakhrul questioned the justification of the EC’s talks with the political parties when it has no power to control the administration for ensuring a credible election.
“Why are you (EC) becoming restless by sending such letters? You live like decent persons and receive salaries,” he said pointing at the CEC and the election commissioners.
Mentioning that the previous Commission had spent cores of taka on only training purposes, the BNP leader suggested the current EC looking for such a scope to make money instead of thinking about the national election. “Don't belittle yourself by unnecessarily saying all these things about the national election.”
He said the election will not be held in a fair and neutral manner if Awami League remains in power during the voting.
“It’s already been proved not only in the national elections but also in local government polls. So come to the real point without doing this exercise (holding talks) unnecessarily. The real point is that the caretaker government must remain in place during the election period.”
The BNP leader also said the country’s people will not accept the election if it is not held under a non-party caretaker government.
Fakhrul said Awami League has been playing a game in a planned way to hang onto power by regulating the EC, administration and law enforcement agencies.
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He said the current government has destroyed the country through widespread plundering and corruption.
The BNP leader said the Padma Bridge has been repaired though it has not been a year since it was opened to traffic. “The layer of bitumen used on the road of the bridge is getting damaged. This is a sample of their development.”
When the country’s people struggle to manage food for survival, he said the government is constructing a subway. “Has the subway become so much important in that area of Purbachal?”
Fakhrul urged the government to quit power and dissolve parliament with dignity by handing over power to a non-party caretaker government, paving the way for holding a credible national election under a new election commission.
He also called upon the party leaders and activists to get ready for making any kind of sacrifice in protecting the country and the rights of its people.