No polls without Khaleda, BNP warns govt
Published : Thursday, 13 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 147
BNP senior leaders at a token hunger strike on Wednesday warned the government that the people will not allow anyone to hold the 11th parliamentary polls without the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
They demanded immediate release of Khaleda Zia and her proper treatment, the party leaders also vowed to free Khaleda through a strong movement.
Several hundred leaders and activists of BNP joined the two-hour-long programme from 10:00 am in front of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.
Addressing the programme, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the national election will not be a participatory one without the participation of BNP and Khaleda Zia.
"We will not allow holding any such polls. We will join the election after freeing our leader," he said adding that the government has kept Khaleda Zia in jail convicting her in a "false case".
The BNP leader criticised the government for not taking steps for ensuring proper treatment of Khaleda. "It is the government's responsibility to provide her with treatment since she is in jail. But it is not taking any step in this regard."
He also reiterated the party's demands for resignation of the government before the announcement of the election schedule, reconstitution of the Election Commission and deployment of the army to hold the next polls in a fair and credible manner.
Another BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said it is now not possible to free Khaleda from jail through a legal battle. "Taking to the streets is the only way to ensure her release. We are in a movement and we will intensify it to ensure the government's fall."
At the end of the programme, ex-vice chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Emajuddin Ahmed ended the token hunger strike by providing water to BNP leaders around 12noon.
The 73-year-old BNP chief landed in jail on February 8 after a court sentenced him to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage graft case.
Khaleda is now facing 37 more cases. She has secured bail in all but three cases -- two in Comilla and one in Dhaka.