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Sheikh Hasina must have to quit power: Fakhrul

Rejecting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s assurances of holding the upcoming general election in a free, fair and impartial manner outright, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said Sheikh Hasina will be forced to leave power through an intense movement.

“People have taken to the street. You (Sheikh Hasina) will have to count how many days you want to cling to power. We’ve not leased out our country to you. You’ll be ousted from power through an intense movement if you don’t leave as soon as possible,” he said while addressing as the chief guest at a solidarity rally organised by Gana Odhikar Parishad (Nur) to restore democracy and voting rights of people at Purana Paltan Culvert Road in the capital on Friday (October 6) afternoon.

Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s repeated assurances of holding a free and fair election as per the constitution, Mirza Fakhrul said she utters lies constantly. Shikh Hasina wants to fool people. She wants to cheat with people again.

“The biggest proof of her lies is the general election of 2018. Prior to that election, she told the countrymen that level-playing field would be ensured. But, we saw that the following day’s voting took place at previous night. Moreover, we saw the voting of 2014. We didn’t take part in that election,” he said.

“Sheikh Hasina wants to hold another farcical election without the participation of voters again. She is moving at that direction. But, the country’s people have awaken up. They have decided not to keep Sheikh Hasina in power anymore. People have taken to the street ignoring all the fears and intimidation,” he said.

The BNP Secretary General said not only people of the country, but also the western world has become a major obstacle to Sheikh Hasina’s attempt to hold a farcical election this time. They have asserted that there should be an impartial election in Bangladesh this time.

Alleging that an anarchic situation is prevailing all-over the country, Mirza Fakhrul said the country’s foreign exchange reserves are dwindling every month, while readymade garment export is declining and businessmen can’t pay wages to workers regularly. People can’t eat thrice a day properly but none dares to make protest being afraid of the authoritarian government’s torture. As many as 600 leaders and workers of BNP have been the victims of enforced disappearances as they tried to protest the injustice of Sheikh Hasina government. Some 4.5 million BNP activists have been sued.

The BNP leader further said youth would have to come forward and utter “Enough is enough.” If Sheikh Hasina doesn’t resign, she will have to bring down from power through an intense movement. If it can be done, the countrymen will witness a free, fair and impartial election. BNP will take part in that election. But, BNP and like-minded parties will not take part in any election under Sheikh Hasina. It is clear.”

With Gana Odhikar Parishad president and former Ducsu VP Nurul Huq Nur in the chair, the rally was also addressed by Kalyan Party chairman Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Bir Protik, NPP chairman Dr Fariduzzaman Farhad, Gana Forum (Montu) general secretary Subrata Chowdhury and BLDP secretary general Shahadat Hossain Selim, among others. The rally was moderated by Gana Odhikar Parishad general secretary Rashed Khan.