The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Thursday alleged that the government was inviting danger for the country’s garment industry with its move to retain power by holding a lopsided general election on January 7.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, the party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also accused the Awami League government of repressing the BNP leaders and activists in police remand to leave the party.
‘The country’s people believe that prime minister Sheikh Hasina wants a guarantee to stay in power illegally by handing over the readymade garment business to other countries,’ Rizvi said.
The BNP leader said that their party had repeatedly warned the government that a one-sided election would deepen the country’s political crisis and push the country towards danger.
‘The government has already put Bangladesh’s (RMG) market under a threat. The upcoming one-sided election is not just a renewal of Sheikh Hasina’s power, but a licence to destroy Bangladesh,’ he said.
Rizvi urged the country’s people not only to boycott the stage-managed election but also to put up a mass resistance to ensure a credible and inclusive election by ousting the current regime from power.
Ignoring the opinions of buyers, he said that the government had taken the country’s biggest export-oriented industry to the brink of destruction in the interest of a neighbouring country by taking a stand in favour of an exploitative policy of the pro-government opportunistic quarter and imprudently resorting to killing and repression to suppress justified demands of workers.
The BNP leader said that the garment factory owners fear that sanctions on Bangladesh’s garment industry are almost certain after the United States announced a new labour policy to protect labour rights.
He said that the RMG sector had already lost 40 to 45 per cent of the business. ‘Amid the uncertainty of garment industry, bizarre Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen showed his stupidity by saying nothing will happen if there are any sanctions.’
Rizvi also slammed prime minister Sheikh Hasina for her comment that if the United States imposed sanctions, Bangladesh would also do the same against that country, saying her government was inviting danger for the garment industry, the sole source of bread and butter for millions of poor people.
Stating that 82 per cent of the country’s total garment exports are to the US and European countries, he said that the RMG sector would be ruined if exports to these countries were hampered.
The BNP leader claimed that the arrested BNP leaders and activists had been subjected to serious torture in the name of police remand. ‘The torture on our arrested leaders and workers outshined the story of torture in the German concentration camps.’
He said that they came to know that the BNP leaders and activists were tortured in police remand in a disgraceful manner only to take their consent to change their party.
Rizvi claimed that over 415 BNP leaders and workers had been arrested across the country in the past 24 hours as of 5:00pm on Thursday.