AL obstacle to fair polls: Khandaker Mosharraf

AL obstacle to fair polls: Khandaker Mosharraf

BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain today said the current Awami League government is the obstacle to fair elections in Bangladesh.

"The USA has announced that those who obstruct the elections will not be given visas. We want to say from this rally that those who are obstructing fair elections, democracy or people's right to vote in Bangladesh are the current government," he said.

Speaking at a rally, the BNP leader also said the USA has rejected the current government by announcing its new visa policy for Bangladesh.

Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, said the new visa policy of the USA is "very shameful" for the Awami League. "The Awami League has brought this shame to Bangladesh."

He said the government is giving the foreigners a false commitment that the next election will be held in a free and fair manner under them, but the country's people as well as foreigners have seen that two previous elections held under it were not worth the name.

"It's not possible for them (govt) to arrange a credible election. So, the democratic countries, including the USA, are saying the next polls must be free, fair and inclusive. They understand that there was no fair election under Sheikh Hasina in the past, nor will it be in the future."

He also said BNP and most other opposition parties will not participate in the election if it is held under Sheikh Hasina. "The international community is seeking a participatory election and the polls won't be inclusive without us."

As part of the party's countrywide programme, BNP's Dhaka south and north city units arranged the rally in front of the party's Nayapaltan central office to press home their 10-point demand, including holding the next polls under a non-party neutral government and to protest against the arrest and harassment of party leaders and activists in "false cases".

BNP also organised rallies in 15 other districts also for registering the party's protest against the filing of 'fictitious' cases against opposition leaders and activists, soaring prices of essentials, frequent power cuts and the 'all-pervasive' corruption by the Awami League government.

Mosharraf said the prime minister went to different countries to seek their favour to hang onto power again, but she was turned down everywhere.

"This is not a government elected by people. Not only we, but also the entire world is saying that elections in 2014 and 2018 held under the current government were no polls. In 2014, Awami League occupied power and formed the government by force while in 2018 the day's voting was held at night," he observed.

The BNP leader said the ruling party leaders are unnerved as they have realized that they are going to face a debacle in the next polls. "That's why they're trying to resort to different tricks and blueprints."

He said a ruling party business syndicate has increased the prices of all essential items unusually to make their pockets heavier. "This government won't be able to control the prices of commodities. The poor are now starving or half-fed while the middle class is getting poor."

Mosharraf called upon the people from all walks of life to get ready to oust the current regime through a mass uprising.

He also urged the administration and the law enforcers not to obey the unlawful orders of the current 'illegitimate' government.

"Those of you who are in the administration and members of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, you are the servants of the people. You are the officers and employees of the republic. I call upon you not to obstruct peaceful programmes of people and file false cases and arrest people at the behest of the government," the BNP leader said.