BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Tuesday said there is no alternative to unseating the current Awami League government for the restoration of democracy and people’s voting rights.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said the government is trying to procure more electronic voting machines (EVMs) spending a huge amount of money amid the economic crisis in the country only to rig votes digitally in the next polls.
“There is now no scope to do politics independently in the country. Awami League has destroyed every institution, democracy and electoral system to consolidate its rule. This regime must be toppled to restore democracy and the right to vote,” he said.
Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, also said the country’s people do not believe that a fair and acceptable election is possible under the Awami League government. “That’s why BNP has raised the demand for holding the next election under a neutral government.”
ASM Hannan Shah Smriti Parishad arranged the discussion at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU), marking the sixth death anniversary of BNP standing committee member ASM Hannan.
Opposing the Election Commission’s move to use the EVMs in the 12th parliamentary election, Mosharraf said the Commission is forcing people to use the machine when they prefer to vote with their own hands.
“They (govt) can’t rig votes again at night like 2018. That's why now they’re preparing to indulge in vote robbery this time by using the EVMs," he observed.
The BNP leader also questioned the justification of buying EVMs by spending Tk8,000 crores when the country’s people cannot manage three meals a day amid a 'famine-like' situation. “People are struggling to survive due to hikes in the prices of essential commodities and fuel oil and they’re facing load-shedding for 8-10 hours in the rural areas…in such a situation, they (govt) are going to spend so much money for EVMs.”
He warned that the country’s economy will be ruined if the Awami League government is allowed to hang onto power anymore. “We must protect the country and its economy from destruction. “
Mosharraf alleged that democracy is killed whenever Awami League comes to power. “They killed freedom fighters by forming Rakkhi Bahini and thus initiated the politics of killing in the country. They’ve been staying in power for 14 years by force, but the Prime Minister has said going abroad that a gentle breeze of democracy is blowing in Bangladesh."
He recalled the contributions of Hanan Shah to BNP and his role in favour of democracy during the 1/11 political changeover in 2007.