Questioning the justification of BNP's participation in the recent elections and by-elections, party senior leader Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed on Monday said the fall of the current government will have to be ensured through a street movement, not by voting.
"As long as this government exists, ordinary citizens won't be able to go to voting booths and get any chance to bring a change by voting. So, a mass-upsurge is the only way to do that," he said.
Speaking at a discussion meeting, the BNP leader said, "I can say if only two lakh people take to the streets and stay there for two days then they (AL govt) will be forced to flee quitting power. Let's regain that courage and take to the streets in the coming days to oust this government."
Ziaur Rahman Samaj Kalyan Parishad arranged the discussion at the Jatiya Press Club, marking "November 7, 1975 commemorating the civil-military uprising".
Narrating the current election system of the country, Hafiz, a BNP vice chairman, said he cannot understand as to why their party is taking part in elections. "We join polls when we shouldn't and we don't participate when we should do it. We go to Parliament when we shouldn't go there."
He said the BNP candidate was given only 400 votes in Sirajganj-1 by-polls though BNP has over a thousand polling agents alone. But our agents can't go to polling stations. Voters and even Awami League supporters can't go to voting centres. This is democracy in Bangladesh!"
The BNP leader voiced concern that the fundamentalist forces are increasing their presence on the streets. "BNP and its strong student body Chhatra Dal can't take to the streets...Observe the processions and the growing presence and number of Islamic fundamentalists on the streets. It's the greatest ominous sign."
He warned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Awami League will be held responsible if the country goes under the grip of fundamentalist forces for coming out of the trend of liberal politics. "We don't want such a situation. We want the government to be changed through voting."
Hafiz, a valiant freedom fighter, said the armed forces they had formed after the Liberation War earned people's honour and confidence.
"Miscreants used to flee seeing the army during elections. But what's the current situation? The votes were rigged at night before the voting in the last election, but the army chief said he never saw such a good voting! We want the army to remain free from politics. We hope they'll be the army of people, not the army of any party in Bangladesh."
He alleged that the government considers meritorious people like Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus as its enemies. "People across the world honour Dr Yunus a lot, he was called an interest-taker in our country and warrants were issued against him.