“Our position is very clear, we want to tell the EC to create the election atmosphere first; create the road, then the roadmap will be effective, otherwise it will not,” BNP secretary general said in Dhaka on Monday.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was speaking at a discussion on ‘BNP’s Vision 2030: Development for Women and Mission for Progress’ at the Maulana Bhasani Auditorium in the party offices at Naya Paltan. The women wing of the party organised the programme.
Fakhrul said, “Like Jan 5, 2014, if the political parties cannot contest in the elections, you will have to conduct the election with dogs, goats and lambs; the people will not take part in it.”
When the ruling Awami League’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader was drawn to EC roadmap, he said, “I don’t want to comment on it now. We want to see how EC implements it.”
“What they (EC) have put forward is a roadmap, we want to see the implementation process,” he said.
He was speaking with a group of journalists at the Secretariat where he presided over a meeting on road safety.
The Election Commission led by CEC KM Nurul Huda on Sunday announced the work plan or roadmap leading to the next general elections.
Pointing at the EC, Mirza Fakhrul said, “Okay, you have given a roadmap but where is the road. Who will take part in the elections? It’s the political parties. But, where is the road to take the parties to elections?”
“Like road-digging all around, you have dug the political roads too, so that the opposition parties cannot take part in the elections.”
“It will not work. Come to the point. Hold discussions with political parties and create the path to elections.”
The BNP leader also criticised the government, alleging that the ruling party leaders were involved in killings, enforced disappearances and corruption.
“They will not be able to flee the country,” he added.
But Quader, alluding to BNP chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman who now lives in the UK, said: “One does not return in fear of trial while the other is leaving.”
“We have no objection to her leaving the country but rumours are rife that she is also fleeing the trial. She took dates 150 times in a case and that has created suspicion among the people.”
She would probably say something about the roadmap or announce the format of ‘election-facilitating government’ on her return, Quader added.