Release Khaleda, reconstitute EC if want BNP to join polls: Fakhrul

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Staff Reporter:

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said their party will not join the next polls if their chairperson Khaleda Zia is not released from jail and the Election Commission is not reconstituted.

“We would like to clearly say a neutral Election Commission must be formed annulling the current one, or else, there will be no election,” he said.

Speaking at a discussion programme, the BNP leader further said, “Our party’s position is also clear that we won’t join any election without our leader (Khaleda). No election will be held unless she’s released.”

Besides, Fakhrul said the government must quit, dissolve parliament and deploy army to hold the next polls in a credible and acceptable manner under a non-party government.

BNP organised the discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, marking its founder Ziaur Rahman’s 37th death anniversary.

Fakhrul said the current Commission has no capacity to hold a credible and neutral national election as it has been acting as per the government’s threat and orders.

He called upon all political parties and social organisations to forge a national unity to establish a pro-people government ousting the current ‘autocratic regime’.

About the killings of people in ‘shootouts’ in the ongoing anti-narcotics drive, the BNP leader said the government is killing people like birds as the country is under the rule of an individual. “People’s all the basic rights, including the right to live, have been snatched away.”

He said the government having failed to control drug has taken the dangerous way of killing people unlawfully in the name of anti-narcotics drive.
Fakhrul urged BNP leaders and activists to take a vow on Zia’s death anniversary to wage a strong movement mobilising public support to free Khaleda from jail, and restore democracy and people’s rights.

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said it is not possible to have Khaleda released from jail through the court as it  has been unnecessarily buying time in giving her bail in the ‘false’ cases she was implicated.

“We must free her from jail by ensuring the fall of the current regime. People will come up with the action programmes which are necessary to oust the autocratic government. We must get ready for it,” he added.

Party another standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said their party needs to take three agenda–freeing Khaleda from jail, uniting all democracy-loving people and parties and waging a mass movement forging unity with other parties– to get rid of the current government’s one-party rule.

He said the government will surely be forced to hold the next election under a non-party neutral government if a strong movement can be formed uniting people and political parties.

Moudud said BNP must make strong efforts to bring the political parties outside the 20-party alliance into its fold by making a good sacrifice, if necessary.

BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas urged their party leaders and activists to take preparations for taking to the streets to free Khaleda from jail.

Party’s another standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said participating in the election under Sheikh Hasina is tantamount to committing suicide. “So, we won’t allow to hold the election without installing the non-party government.”unb

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