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No scope for talks with AL: BNP

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that Awami League like the other authoritarian government in the world has turned the election into a farce and a game only to cling to power.

Replying to a question, he said there is no scope for BNP to hold a dialogue with Awami League until it quits power by accepting their demand.

“They must go by handing over power to a caretaker government.”

He made the remarks at a press conference at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in Dhaka on Friday.

Fakhrul alleged that Awami League wants to score goals in an empty field in the upcoming election without the participation of the opposition parties.

“She (Sheikh Hasina) does not want the opposition parties to join the election. They’re used to scoring goals in empty fields and getting walkovers. We’ve said people will no longer accept this kind of election,” said Fakhrul.

As a liberal democratic party, Fakhrul said, BNP wants to join the election but it has to be a genuine election, not a farce.

He said a fair and credible election cannot be held under those who stuff ballots the night before the election, got 154 people elected without voting, barred the opposition candidates from participating in the electioneering and arrested opposition leaders and activists to make the field empty.

“It can’t be accepted that election will be held by unleashing a reign of terror…this is how the military dictators prolong power as they’re afraid to go to people and seek votes from them. This is the reality,” the BNP leader said.

He said Sheikh Hasina has been staying in power by deceiving and intimidating the country’s people and resorting to falsehood.

Fakhrul said there is no reason for the BNP to be afraid of participating in fair elections. “Rather, they (AL) are worried that they’ll not be able to retain power if the election is held in a credible manner. That is the bottom line. That’s why they’re completely depriving people of voting rights by using various techniques and deceptions. So, people now don’t go to the polling stations to cast their votes.”

Under the circumstances, the BNP leader said there is no alternative to oust the current regime through a united movement by the opposition parties.

“We are holding talks with those who do not accept this government and those who think this regime has destroyed democracy in the country (to wage a simultaneous movement,” he said.