BNP pushes for dialogue with govt

BNP pushes for dialogue with govt

Dhaka, Aug 11 (Just News): BNP on Saturday urged the government to engage in talks with the party over the next general election with an open mind.

"Discussions cannot be held at an empty table. Specific agenda should be there for talks. BNP has some specific demands for ensuring fair and participatory polls and those can be discussed," said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, he further said, "If they (govt) say they don't want to discuss these issues (relating to election), we'll understand their mind is off-white, not white and transparent."

He made the remarks while reacting to Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader's reported comment that discussions can be held with BNP if it doesn't impose any condition.

Rizvi said their party is always ready for a dialogue with the government as it thinks it is necessary for holding an acceptable, fair and inclusive election. "But, the dialogue can't be held without any agenda. We want the talks to be held with an open mind."

He said the next general election cannot be held keeping their chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail. "Khaleda Zia must be freed before the national election."

Besides, the BNP leader said, Parliament will have to be dissolved, a non-party neutral election-time government must be installed and the current Election Commission will have to be reconstituted.

He said their party has long been talking about participatory and credible polls where voters will be able to exercise their right to franchise without any fear.

Rizvi said the election will not be acceptable to people if the government takes steps to remove the barriers to fair balloting.

He also said their party will not join the election if the congenial atmosphere for credible election is not created.

The BNP leader criticised Prime Minister's son Sjeeb Wazed Joy for giving a post on his Facebook page on detained photographer Shahidul Alam's trial.

"We think giving such statement by Sjeeb Wazed Joy on Shahidul Alam means encouraging repression on him by police. His statement is an inhuman one," he added.