Sylhet: Opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Saturday issued an warning that polling-centre-based all-party Sangram (movement) committees will be formed across the country to resist the government move to hold a unilateral national election.
“The whole world has already said the lopsided polls wouldn’t be acceptable. I want to tell you if Awami League wants to arrange one-sided polls, we’ll form polling center-based all-party sangram committees with people to resist it,” she said.
Khaleda, also the BNP Chairperson, said this while addressing a public rally at the city’s Alia Madrasah ground organised by the BNP-led 18-party alliance as part of its movement to restore caretaker government to hold the next general election.
She also said, “I’ll tell you (people) to start forming the committees right now. The government’s tenure expires on October 24. If the government doesn’t restore the caretaker government system by the time, we’ll wage a movement from October 25.”
Pointing at the civil administration and police, the opposition leader said “Don’t oppress our men unlawfully… otherwise you’ll have to face the dire consequences.”
Renewing her demand for restoring the caretaker government to hold next general election, Khaleda said that fair election is not possible under Awami League government.
“We’ve seen by-polls held under the Awami League government. There was no fair election in Kishoreganj and Brahmanbaria due to muscle flexing and use of arms by the ruling party men. So, holding fair election is not possible under this government,” she told the rally.
Observing that the judiciary is not neutral as it acts at the dictates of the government and the Law Ministry, the BNP chief said, “People are now deprived of justice.”
The former Prime Minister urged the government to place a caretaker government bill in parliament tomorrow and pass to avoid agitation programmes by the opposition.
Urging the government to roll back the coal-based power plant at Rampal, Bagherhat, Khaleda said, “We need power, not any power plant at Rampal as it is adjacent to the Sundarbans. It’ll destroy the biodiversity of the Sundarbans.”
She went on: “We’ve no objection if you set up the plant elsewhere in the country. You (govt) inaugurated the plant today (Saturday) … And it’s the end of the project as we don’t let anyone allow setting up the plant at Rampal.”
Khaleda also urged people to get united in this regard as the country will be destroyed due to the adverse impacts of the project.
Turning to incidents of disappearance, she said BNP organising secretary Ilyas Ali made disappeared as he waged movement against building Tipaimukh Dam. “We don’t want to get oppressed any more…It’s time for waking up and time for waging demonstration.”
The BNP chief said, “Remain alert against the ruling party as Awami League means extortion, disappearance and repression. If this party is not ousted, the existence of the country will be at stake.”
Khaleda reached the rally venue around 3.06 pm as thousands of leaders and activists of the alliance gathered there since morning braving drizzles.
BNP standing committee members Moudud Ahmed, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Mirza Abbas and Barrister Rafiqul Islam Miah, ,BNP acting secretary general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Khelefat Majlish leader Moulana Mohammad Ishaq, Islami Oikya Jote leader Abdul Latif Nizami, BJP chairman Andalib Rahman Partho, Kalyan Party chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Mohammad Ibrahim, Jagpa Chief Shafiul Alam Pradhan, among others, addressed the rally held with Sylhet City unit of BNP president MA Haque in the chair.