Wednesday, June 19, 2024

BNP seeks talks on Khaleda proposal

Ashraf, Alamgir speak on phone
BNP acting secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, in a significant move on Tuesday sent a letter to AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, requesting him to initiate steps to hold fresh talks on Opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s proposal to form a non-party election-time government.
Soon after receiving the letter, Syed Ashraful contacted the BNP leader over phone and assured him that he would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to decide the next course of action. Ashraf made the phone call while Alamgir was addressing a press conference at Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office.
Extending thanks to Alamgir for taking the initiative, Asharaf said: “I’ve received your letter. I’m going to Dinajpur with Premier Sheikh Hasina to attend a public meeting. I shall discuss your request with the Prime Minister and let you know about the outcome of our discussion.”
In reply, Alamgir said: “We’ve taken a step forward. We expect you (Ashraf) to do the same to overcome the prevailing political impasse.”
Opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque, BNP joint secretary general Barkat Ullah Bulu and its student affairs secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie went to Ashraf’s Minto Road residence and handed over the letter to him at about 11:30 am on Tuesday.
Alamgir told reporters that they mentioned in the letter Khaleda Zia’s proposal to form an election-time government to supervise the general poll.
“We requested the AL general secretary to take immediate measures to hold a dialogue on the proposal forwarded by the Opposition party to resolve the ongoing political crisis ahead of the general poll,” he said.
“We will remain grateful to the ruling party if they accept our proposal. We hope it will open a new door of dialogue to reach a mutual compromise,” he added.
Alamgir also condemned the attack made by law enforcers on the personal security of Khaleda Zia when she was returning home after visiting her party’s ailing joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rivzi at her party’s Naya Paltan central office on Monday night. “We’re stunned by the government’s attitude towards the Leader of the Opposition, Khaleda Zia,” he added. He alleged that the government had provoked a group of law enforcers to carry out an attack.
Alamgir urged the government to take measures against those involved in the attack on Khaleda’s motorcade. He also demanded immediate and unconditional release of the party’s former Chhatra Dal president Sultan Salauddin Tuku who was detained from the spot during the attack.
The BNP leader accused the government of harassing Opposition activists ahead of the October 25 rally. The attack on the BNP supremo’s motorcade proves that the ruling party is not eager to resolve the prevailing political standoff, he said. “We’re showing flexibility and tolerance so that the general election can be held in a peaceful manner, but the government is treating this as our weakness. This proves that the AL does not go by democratic norms,” he alleged.
Alamgir said the government has intentionally imposed a ban on all political activities just ahead of the BNP-led 18-party alliance’s rally on October 25. ”I believe that good sense will prevail upon the government and the ban will be withdrawn. The ruling party will be held responsible for any untoward incident over the issue,” he warned.
The BNP leader criticised the government for deploying a large number of law enforcers in front of the party’s Naya Paltan central office. “Our party headquarters is surrounded by the police since last week. Our party leaders cannot reach the office easily due to the overwhelming presence of law enforcers,” he alleged.
Although the ruling AL preaches democracy to everyone, it is confined to serving petty interests of the party, he added.

-With The Independent input

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