BNP accuses govt of resorting to dual policy

BNP on Monday alleged that the government is trying to keep the party away from observing its political programmes by resorting to a ‘dual policy’ for fear of losing power.“We’re denied permission for holding our rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 7. It’s nothing new as police on seven occasions didn’t allow us to hold our rallies in the capital since January 5, 2014. You (govt) don’t allow us to take to the streets and form human chain programmes and instead drive away our leaders and activists by charging batons,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “But you’re (AL) regularly taking to the streets. You staged rallies at 2/3 venues in Dhaka and took out processions on January 5 last. As you don’t allow the biggest political party to hold any programme, you can tell police that there’re two rules in the country — one for Awami League and the other for the rest of the people.”
BNP had announced to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 7 to mark 10th parliamentary elections day as what it says the democracy killing day, but Dhaka Metropolitan Police did not permit it to stage the programme.
Fakhrul thanked Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader for his comments that BNP is weak in movement, not in people’s support. “He (Quader) deserves thanks for speaking the truth. He realised people will get a day to exercise their voting rights and will show their power. That’s the democracy.”
He said the ruling party is keeping BNP away from getting organised, holding rallies and bringing out precessions as it knows very well about the party’s popularity. “The government fears BNP as they know if BNP men once take to the streets, it will be very difficult for them to protect their throne.”
The BNP leader said there is no alternative to restoring democracy and holding a credible and inclusive election to get rid of the country’s current political situation. “We respect democracy and believe in the rule of law. If an acceptable election is held, the rule of law, good governance and people’s rights will be restored.”
Fakhrul voiced deep concern over the country’s ‘sliding’ law and order as incidents like killing, enforced disappearance, rape and robbery are taking place every day. “Everybody is now panicked that they might be picked up anytime by law enforcers for extorting them through repressing them or implicating them in militant or terrorism cases.”
About the recent murder of ruling party MP Manjurul Islam Liton, he questioned how an MP can openly be gunned down at his residence while he was escorted by law enforcers.
The BNP leader criticised the Prime Minister for her comments after the murder blaming BNP-Jamaat for it. “A Swechchhasebak League leader was arrested yesterday (Sunday) in connection with the murder. They’re also saying now more of their party men might have involvement in it. It’s fact that the ruling party men are behind all the misdeeds happening across the country.”
Mentioning that the ruling party leaders are busy criticising BNP round the clock, he questioned why Awami League gives BNP so much importance when they think it has no organisational capacity to rebound.
Fakhrul said Awami League is using false cases as their main and effective weapon to suppress BNP as it has no relation with people. “We want to say the way you’re harassing and oppressing us, the history and people won’t forget it, and you must be accountable someday for it.”
He said their party has long been pushing for dialogues among political parties so that the new Election Commission can be formed in such a way that they will be able to perform their duties properly. “It won’t be possible to reach a fruitful understanding if the government doesn’t engage in talks with opposition parties.”
The BNP leader urged the government to ensure a democratic space for opposition parties so that they can properly carry out their political activities.