BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman on Saturday urged the countrymen to boycott and resist Sunday’s one-sided national election for the interest of the country.
“We Bangladeshis who believe in the basic principles of democracy, this is the time to resist and boycott together the January 5 parliamentary elections. It’ll have to do, not in the interest of any individual or party, but for the sake of the country, its future and existence,” he said.
Tarique, the eldest son of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, also senior vice-chairman of the party, made the call through a video message sent from London.
Earlier on Friday night, Khaleda Zia also called upon the country’s people to fully boycott the January 5 election terming it a farce in the name of polls.
In his nearly 23-minute video message, Tarique urged the opposition leaders and activists to stand up for the ongoing movement without waiting for any direction of anybody.
“From now on our only target is to resist the farcical election of the autocratic government at any cost forgetting all the petty divisions and differences,” he added.
The BNP senior vice chairman, who has been staying in London since 2008, voiced concern claiming that Bangladesh is going through a deep political crisis.
Mentioning that the country’s people are aggrieved with Awami League, Tarique said people have already showed their no-confidence in the current regime due to its failure to run the state, political killings and forced disappearances, torture and killing of journalists, subservient foreign policy, killing of devoted and religious citizens and corruption.
He claimed that people through electing the BNP candidates in the elections to local government bodies, including five city corporations, in an adverse situation have rejected Awami League and its stance on the election.
The BNP leader claimed that it is evident from various surveys, researches and reviews done by local and international organizations that the country’s over 90 percent people are united in favor of the demand for holding a free, fair and credible elections under a non-party caretaker government. “Under the circumstances, the government in a planned way is going ahead towards a farcical election.”
Stating that the constitution is not a divine book that it can not be amended, Tarique said, “Like the country’s every citizen, I want to put a question is the constitution for people or are the people for the constitution?
Pointing at the Law enforcers, he said the members of police, Rab, BGB and administration will have to bear it in mind that they are workers of the government. “You can’t go against the country’s people what ever the country’s situation and the ruling party’s plans may be.”
“It’ll be very shameful and blemished when you have to put on the dock of people alongside those who are persuading you to carry out anti-people activities after their sure fall in the pressure of mass people,” the BNP senior vice chairman warned the law enforcers.
Tarique termed the BNP’s ongoing movement a fight for restoring democracy, and recalled that many opposition leaders and activists and common people have lost their lives in it. “We have to create strong resistances at houses, villages and cities for at least showing respect to their sacrifices.”
Calling upon the government for halting the election process, he said, “Sheikh Hasina had said she would make the supreme sacrifice as she wants peace, not the premiership. So, as a precondition of peace, stop the game of farcical election showing respect to the demand of people.”
The BNP leader questioned the Prime Minister: “Does it match the stance of a so-called democratic party like Awami League to hold such a brazen farcical election ignoring the mass demand for arranging it under a non-party caretaker government? “What will you earn other than hatred and curse of people by holding such polls?”
Tarique said BNP and Awami League or 18-party or grand alliance are not now two political opponents in the country. “The two political opponents are the democracy versus autocracy, forces in favour of Bangladesh versus forces in favour of other country.”
He urged people to take decision on their own on which side they will be considering the overall situation.
Tarique, arrested on March 7, 2007 during the army-backed interim regime, was freed from jail on bail on September 3, 2008 and left for London for treatment eight days later.
Tarique urges all to boycott polls