Monday, June 24, 2024

PM condition for talks a trick, says BNP

The main opposition BNP has said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call upon the opposition to lift the nationwide 60-hour hartal from Monday in the interest of dialogue is nothing but an instance of expediency. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s today’s call to sit for dialogue lifting hartal is a game. She is just playing tricks in the name of dialogue,” BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has said.
Rizvi, also office secretary of the party, came up with the reaction at a press conference held at the party’s Naya Paltan central office on Sunday, hours after the primer call to lift the 60-hour hartal for the sake of dialogue over CG issue.
At a public meeting at the Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the opposition must withdraw its hartal first to sit for a dialogue regarding the formation of poll-time government.
The government lacks sincerity and eagerness to sit with the opposition, he added.
He asked his party’s leaders and workers as well as the people from all sections to observe the 60-hour nationwide hartal forcing the government to accept the CG demand.
The government will be held responsible and accountable if any untoward incident is created on the way of the hartal programme, he warned.
He also asked the people from different communities including businessmen to keep their business establishments closed and transport owners not to ply their vehicle on the streets during the hartal to make the hartal a success.
Earlier, in an oblique reference to a failed dialogue between former AL general secretary Abdul Jalil and BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan in 2006, senior opposition leader Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, on Sunday, said that only anti-government movements would be able to overcome the prevailing political impasse in the country.
“We’ve seen fresh talks in the past, but they didn’t yield any result. Only streetwise movements, instead of any dialogue, can bring a result-oriented solution regarding the non-party caretaker government (CG) issue,” he added. Calling upon opposition partymen to take to the street, Roy said, “Staring at the possibility of a dialogue will never produce a fruitful result. The ruling AL should be ousted through an intensive movement.”
Roy was addressing a discussion on “Dialogue and confrontation, election and third force”, organised by All Community Forum at the National Press Club.
On October 6, 2006, the then BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and AL general secretary Abdul Jalil had held a much-awaited dialogue over electoral reforms. After the 70-minute-long closed door meeting at the parliament complex, both the leaders had said that they would sit again to continue the talks after discussing the outcome with the high command of their respective parties, much to the dismay of the entire nation. Afterwards, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia had not backtracked from their positions, leading to an abject failure of the dialogue.
Roy, also a standing committee member of the party, urged the Prime Minister to meet the peoples’ demand of an election-time non-party CG restoration in the greater interest of holding of the 10th parliamentary poll in a fair and credible manner.
“People from all classes want the next general election to be held under a non-party CG oversight. The Premier should accept the demand, showing respect to the people,” he added.
He criticised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for amending the country‘s charter according to her own whims. “We are not bound to uphold the constitutional directives regarding the election-time administration. Whether the Premier would sit with the opposition or not, she should meet the demand for election under a non-party CG management,” he added.
Roy, however, assailed his own partymen for not playing a significant role during the 18-party alliance’s 60-hour nationwide hartal, saying that some pro-Awami League people have taken shelter inside the BNP.
“A group of pro-Awami League leaders have gathered around BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia. As a result, the opposition’s anti-government movement is not getting momentum,” he opined.
Roy also blamed the Prime Minister for launching crackdown on Hefazat-e-Islami members and said that she would be forced to pay for this if the BNP is voted to power in the next general poll.
Ahmed Azam Khan, adviser to the BNP chairperson, and others spoke at the programme, with Ashraf Uddin Bakul president of the forum in the chair.
Besides, at a separate discussion, the opposition chief whip, Zainul Abdin Farroque, said a tough anti-government movement will be waged after the nationwide 60-hour hartal starting from Monday. He criticised the Premier’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy as the latter had said that the BNP wants 40 more dead bodies in the name of another hartal.
“It is not the BNP, but the Awami League that believes in politics over dead bodies. The government is killing people during the opposition’s anti-government campaign to shift people’s attention to another direction,” he alleged.
Farroque was addressing a discussion organised by Grameen Bank Rakhha and Bangladesh Projanma Academy at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity in the capital on Sunday.

-With The Independent input

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