Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s remark that Awami League never runs away, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday said that people know who fled the country after the political changeover during 1/11.
“The prime minister said in Rajshahi yesterday (January 29, 2023) that Awami League never flees. Everyone knows who fled the country after being arrested during the 1/11 (government),” he said.
The BNP leader also said their party chief Khaleda Zia did not leave the country at that time. “She (Khaleda) clearly said I have no place abroad. This is my country. I was born here… Even if I die, I will die here… So, there’s no point in making such a comment (by the PM). The country’s people know who fled where, when and how.”
He came up with the remarks while launching the anti-government march programme of their party’s Dhaka South City unit – towards Jurain from Jatrabari.
Fakhrul warned that the ruling party will not get any escape route as the backs of the country’s people are now pushed against the walls by facing widespread repressive acts for 14-15 years.
Pointing to Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Fakhrul recited a few lines of a poem by Nirmalendu Goon, “Which way you will flee, there is no way to escape. Mountains in the North, Bay of Bengal in the South. In which direction will you run?”
Under the circumstances, he urged the government to hand over power to a caretaker government after quitting and dissolving parliament so that people can cast their votes under a new Election Commission. “So, we say again there’s still time to step down acting on our 10-point demand.”
Fakhrul slammed the ruling party for what he said its “ill-efforts” to ensure the victory of Abdus Sattar – a former MP and sacked BNP leader – in the Brahmanbaria-2 constituency by-polls. So, how safe is the vote in your hands?
He said their party expelled Sattar as he had taken part in the by-polls after resigning from Parliament as per the party’s directives. "Now you (AL) have withdrawn your candidate, putting aside all principles and ethics to ensure his (Sattar’s) victory. Hasib, the rival independent candidate remained missing for two days. That means you have already controlled the entire electoral system to ensure Sattar’s win. This is your (govt’s) election system.”
Fakhrul said elections can never be fair under the current government which has been in power for two terms without the votes of the people. “Votes are not safe in your hands. So there can’t be any elections under this government.”
Trashing Obaidul Quader’s comment that BNP’s road march is its funeral procession, Fakhrul said their march is a “victory procession of democracy and civilisation.” “This is our victory march to get back people’s rights and to have freed our leader Khaleda Zia.”
The BNP leader also said they will achieve the final victory by “ousting” the current government through peaceful programmes with the involvement of the mass people.
He said the ruling party leaders are now making “unguarded” remarks as they have lost the ground beneath their feet after becoming isolated from people.
As part of the BNP’s four-day programme, leaders and activists of its Dhaka South City unit marched towards the capital's Jurain rail gate area from Jatrabari to press home their 10-point demand, including holding the next general election under a non-party caretaker government.
Fakhrul formally inaugurated the programme in front of Jatrabari Ideal School around 2:50 pm on Monday and it ended around 4:10 pm after parading different roads.
It was the second such programme of the BNP as the leaders and activists of the party’s Dhaka North City unit marched from Badda to Malibagh in the capital on Saturday.
Thousands of leaders and activists of the BNP and its associate bodies joined the programme, carrying banners, national, party and white flags, festoons and portraits of the party's top leaders.
A huge number of law enforcers have been deployed to maintain law and order and fend off any untoward incidents.
Earlier on Thursday, BNP announced the four-day march programme in the capital for January 28, 30, 31 and February 1.
Dhaka North City unit of BNP will also march from Gabtoli to Mirpur-10 intersection on January 31. Dhaka South City unit of BNP will march from Mugda to Malibagh on February 1.