BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said that the government wants to hold another stage-managed election as per its blueprint to stay in power till 2041.
Speaking at a human chain programme, he also alleged the government signed an anti-state power deal with India's Adani Group as a bribe to the neighbouring country to cling to power.
The BNP leader said the government ruined the constitution and made an arrangement for holding the election under a partisan government to establish a one-party rule system.
“Two elections were held under it in 2014 and 2018 without people’s votes… They now have the desire to stay in power till 2041. With that blueprint, they want to hold elections again in 2024 in the same manner,” Fakhrul said.
He said Awami League considers itself the owner of the country while the people are its subjects. “Awami League government has been treating us as subjects. So, we have to work more and drum up more public support to involve them with our movement. They (AL) have to be defeated by creating a turbulent wave of people through the movement.”
As part of a simultaneous movement in cities and districts, BNP’s Dhaka south city unit arranged the human chain programme in front of its Nayapaltan central office. Thousands of leaders and activists of the party and its associate bodies took part in the programme, led by Fakhrul from 11am to 12pm.
BNP’s Dhaka north city unit also formed a human chain programme in the Badda area, led by party standing committee member Khandaker Mosahrraf Hossain.
Apart from BNP, Ganotantra Mancha, Jatiyatabadi Samamona Jote, Gonoforum and People's Party, Jatiyatabadi Samamona Jote Peshajibi Ganatantrik Jote formed human chains separately. BNP also observed a similar programme in all cities and districts in presence of the central leaders.
Fakhrul said the AL government has been indulging in widespread corruption and plundering, forcing the world-famous newspapers to file reports on its corruption.
He said the power purchase deal with the Adani Group is against the interests of Bangladesh. “We’re saying publicly that this agreement can't go in favour of Bangladesh in any way.”
The BNP leader warned that the people of Bangladesh will not accept the deal with Adani. “The question has been asked by many people from abroad how the Bangladesh government could sign this agreement. They signed the agreement because they want to stay in power with bribes.”
Fakhrul said some ruling party leaders are saying BNP will finally participate in the next national election. "I would like to say clearly that BNP won’t participate in any election under this government, led by Sheikh Hasina and under the current Election Commission."
He said their party has already initiated a movement to realise their 10-point demand, including the resignation of the Awami League government, dissolution of parliament and handing over power to a non-party caretaker government, paving the way for holding a credible election by forming a new election commission.
The BNP leader said their party does not want to engage in clashes and violence as they are carrying out the movement together with people in a peaceful manner to press home their 10-point demand.
“Accept our 10-point demand and resign immediately, dissolve parliament and hand over power to the caretaker government. “If you ask the rickshaw pullers whether they want to go to the election under Sheikh Hasina, they’ll all say no as they don't trust her. No fair and free election can be held under her,” Fakhrul said.
He alleged that the government is repeatedly trying to provoke BNP leaders and activists to engage in violence as BNP’s peaceful movement caused heartburn to it. "People have initiated the movement, they’ll go back home with a victory.”
The BNP leader warned that they will gradually intensify their movement and force the government to step down.
About the frequent incidents of explosions in Dhaka and Chattogram, Fakhrul said these incidents are happening for the lack of monitoring, supervision and management by the authorities concerned. “They (govt) have turned this country into a hell.”
He said the government is least bothered about people's safety and suffering as its main job is to plunder public money.