Bnp to be in city polls if level playing field given

BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman on Tuesday said their party will join the elections to three city corporations in Dhaka and Chittagong if a level-playing field is created for all.
“Our decision over joining the polls will come within a day or two,” he told reporters before attending a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club.
BNP arranged the discussion marking the Independence Day.
Claiming that BNP faces no problem in selection of its candidates, the BNP leader said there will be some conditions for participating in the elections by their party.“Our candidates will have to be allowed to campaign freely. The government will also have to consider the issues of those accused in many cases. If such a situation is created, BNP must go to the polls and win every election with a big margin,” he said.
Mahbubur Rahman lamented that Bangladesh democracy could not be institutionalised even after 44 years of the country’s independence.
Terming ‘democracy’ the key Liberation War spirit, he said, “Democracy is now in a very fragile state. It’s there only in name. Autocracy prevails in the country in the name of democracy.”
The BNP standing committee member said their ongoing movement as the longest-ever movement for the restoration of democracy in the country claiming that it has achieved some sort of success as they have been able to draw the attention of the international community to Bangladesh situation.
Presiding over the discussion, BNP vice chairman Shah Moazzem Hossain said some 50,000 BNP leaders and activists are languishing in jail as the country is going to celebrate its Independence Day. “Is it independence?”
Calling Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as their leader, Shah Moazzem said Bangabandhu created the ground for the Liberation War. “He is still my leader. I respect him.”
The BNP leader said, “If the government wants BNP in the city corporation elections, our all detained leaders will have to be set free.”
Bangladesh Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Mohammad Ibrahim, BNP chairperson’s advisers Shawkat Mahmud and Barrister Haider Ali, and founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.