Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:00:10 PM
Staff Reporter :
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday stressed for a neutral government to hold the next general election as a fair poll is in no way possible under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
She also demanded deployment of army with magistracy power to ensure free, fair and participatory parliamentary polls.
"We firmly want to say that the BNP will never participate in parliamentary polls under the incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. No fair election can be held under Sheikh Hasina," Khalida Zia while addressing a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city to mark the 'National Revolution and Solidarity Day'.
The BNP observes the November 7 every year marking the civil-military upsurge in 1975 through which its founder and late president Ziaur Rahman was freed from military captivity.
Khalida Zia said, "The people could not give their votes under her (Sheikh Hasina) rule because the goons of the ruling Awami League used to occupy all vote centers to rig votes."
She also called for a national consensus in politics, asking the government to refrain from the politics of vengeance. "We forgive you. We will never take any revenge on you. But we want to make you purify," she said.
Huge numbers of people attended the rally since noon to hear BNP chief Khaleda Zia's speech as the former Prime Minister was such a public meeting in the city after a gap of about two years.
Khaleda Zia gave her speech amid huge slogan of her party workers and activists. The party men were seen with festoon and placards with different slogans in good mood.
Meanwhile, many party leaders alleged that the government has stopped bus services from different adjacent districts towards the capital in a planned way to prevent gathering of people in its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan.
The BNP chairperson asked the Election Commission, specially the Chief Election Commissioner, to ensure neutral government for holding a free, fair and participatory general election. She also urged the EC to deploy military with magistracy power during polls.
She said, "Without deploying Army the people will not be able to cast their votes freely. We also have no objection about police. They (police) will also to be deployed as well."
Khaleda Zia asked the EC to nullify the plan of using electronic voting machines (EVM).
Terming the present parliament, the BNP chairperson said both the incumbent government and the parliament are illegal as there was no election held on January 5, 2014.
She said, "154 MPs were elected unopposed in the election. The rests were elected without vote. Even the MPs could not give their own votes to themselves, because it was totally unnecessary."
Khaleda Zia alleged that the present government is involved in looting public assets after grabbing state power illegally.
She put ahead some statistics of corruptions of the government as like as looting money from banks and the state's treasury, giving reference of international organizations' reports.
The BNP chief said, "The ruling party men laundered more than Tk 4,50,000 crore abroad in last ten years, according to a Washington- based organisation."
She also said that Tk 7,000 crore was stolen from the banks in last four years, alleging that the ruling party men are behind this.
"There are Tk 5,000 crore fund for Bangladeshi account holders in Swiss banks. But we never heard before that the Bangladeshis deposit money in Swiss banks," she said.
She also blamed the government not to investigate the Panama Papers scam in which some Bangladeshis were reportedly involved in huge corruptions.
Khaleda Zia asked the government to stop force disappearances in the country, saying many of her party men were kidnapped and became victims of force disappearances.
The BNP chief blasted the government and the ruling party of unleashing a reign of terror on opposition leaders and activists and said that the BNP would not take revenge of such atrocities.
Khaleda Zia said the people want a change and the BNP too wants the same but through election, not any other means. She said the government has forced Chief Justice SK Sinha to leave the country. "Even the government sent their men abroad to force Sinha to step down," she said. All these were done because Sinha had spoken some truth such as the government's controlling the lower court and move to influence the Higher Court, she said.
She criticized the government of its dealing with the issue of Rohingya refugees. She said it is national problem and it should be resolved through proper diplomacy.
Khaleda Zia promised to introduce unemployment allowances, free treatment for all citizens, health insurance and low costs agricultural materials like seeds and fertilizers. She started to deliver her speech at the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan at around 4:10pm and spoke for around one hour.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir presided over the rally while party standing committee members Dr. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas and Gayeshwar Chandra Roy spoke, among others.
The BNP rally formally began with the participation of huge numbers of party leaders and activists at about 2:00pm with recitation from the holy Quran.
Huge number law enforcers have been deployed in and around the rally venue.
Leaders and activists of the party started gathering at the venue in small processions since noon.
Khaleda Zia last addressed a rally at the same venue on January 20, 2014, 15 days after the 10th parliamentary polls.
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