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5 October, 2017 12:27:06 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 October, 2017 12:09:54 PM

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BNP focuses on coming polls

‘Movement if demand for poll-time govt is not met’
RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD
BNP focuses on coming polls

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has concentrated all its energy on preparing for coming elections, including city polls, and launching a mass contact programme in favour of its demand for an election-time supportive government, according to party leaders.

The leaders said they would go for agitations if the government fails to meet their demand for an election-time government to hold the next general election in a free, fair and credible manner.

Referring to the unwillingness of the government to sit across the table with political parties, some leaders said they would take action that would compel them to hold talks on the next polls likely to be held later next year.

According to the Constitution, the next national elections are to be held within a 90-day period before the tenure of the present Parliament ends on January 28, 2019.

The BNP, which boycotted the January 5, 2014 elections, failed in two movements prior to and after the elections that ultimately made the party rank and file frustrated, and thousands of them are still facing, what they claim, false cases.

“We know that there is no alternative to a movement to force the government to hold the next polls under an election-time neutral government. But the party now wants to tread on the path of conciliation,” said a senior leader, preferring anonymity.

The party has no plan to go for a street agitation immediately, rather it wants to focus on pro-election activities.

If needed, the party would go for a movement as the last resort at a convenient time to ensure free and fair polls, he said.

In the meantime, the BNP wants to reorganise the party and its front organisations. It plans to carry out a mass contact programme in favour of its demand and prepare for the next polls, the leader added.

The BNP is set to take part in the dialogue with the Election Commission on October 15 on the next general election. The party also decided, in principle, to take part in some city corporation polls, including Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Barisal and Sylhet, that are likely to be held between December and June next year.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said after party chairperson Khaleda Zia returns from London, she would place the proposal for an election-time supportive government at an appropriate time.

Khaleda, who went to London on July 15 for treatment of her legs and eyes, is likely to return in the middle of this month.

Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, however, said the chairperson would return home when her doctors would give her clearance. “We will place the proposal for the election when we would feel that it is the appropriate time,” he added.

The veteran leader said the BNP took part in relief work for the flood-affected people and has now engaged its leaders and activists to stay beside the Rohingya refugees on humanitarian grounds.

“After placing the proposal for a poll-time supportive government, the party would call upon the government to accept it and drum up support in favour of it through a mass contact programme. Our next course of action will depend on the overall situation,” he added. A senior vice-chairman of the party, preferring anonymity, said Parliament should be dissolved before the election, otherwise the BNP might not take part in the polls.

 He also said the party would do everything to ensure that polls are free and fair. “People are ready for a movement, but we want to move steadily. The party may go for a street programme early next year,” he added.

BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said the BNP would do whatever it can to bring the government to the negotiating table for a dialogue on the next general election.

“What the government says is not final always. Sometimes it changes. We hope the stand of the government will also change,” he added.

He said the party is engaged in a mass contact and pro-election programme, but it would hold street agitations if necessary. “Whatever we do, we will do it in a democratic manner and peacefully,” he added.

MK/SI

 

 

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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