Central Desk: BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said that the Awami League government has established ‘autocracy’ in the name of democracy, but such a repressive regime would be washed away by the strong wave of the anti-government movement as people have now woken up.
He said these things in the speech of the chief guest at the divisional rally of BNP at Mymensingh Polytechnic ground on Saturday (October 15).
Mirza Fakhrul said the recent by-election to the Gaibandha-5 parliamentary seat proved the BNP’s observation true that no fair election could be held under the Awami League government.
“Terrorism and theft are there in the Awami League’s body chemistry from where they never can come out. So, they often shout, attack people with sticks, and issue threats and warnings. The People of Bangladesh are not afraid of your arrogance and threats. People have now woken up. Awami League will be swept away by the raging wave of our movement that has started from Teknaf toTentulia,” Fakhrul said.
A chair preserved for the chief guest of the rally was vacant on the stage in honour of party chairperson Khaleda Zia. Mymensingh city unit BNP convener Professor AKM Shafiqul Islam presided over the rally.
The organisers said the rally was meant to denounce the price hike of daily essentials and fuels, the death of five party men in previous police action in Bhola, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Jashore, and to ensure the unconditional release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Saturday’s rally was the second rally by the BNP at the divisional level as the first one was held in Chattogram last Wednesday. The party will conclude the divisional rallies through a mass gathering in Dhaka city on December 10.
‘People won’t concede’
Speaking at the rally, BNP leaders alleged that an ‘undeclared’ transport strike was imposed in Mymensingh and its adjoining districts since morning to prevent opposition leaders and activists from joining the rally.
AL regime to be swept away by strong movement: Fakhrul
At the begging of his speech, Fakhrul said the people of Mymensingh established their right to hold rallies by carrying out a tough fight and overcoming all adversities like the explosion of crude bombs, firing of gunshots and showdown with sticks by the ruling party ‘cadres’.
He said the BNP leaders arranged the rally by occupying the Polytechnic Institute field. “It’s a great victory. The brave sons of Mymensingh have demonstrated that they’re ready to make any kind of sacrifice for protecting democracy.”
“After passing Gazipur on our way to Mymensingh from Dhaka, it seemed a hartal or curfew was imposed as the roads were free of vehicles. Only some small trucks were seen carrying our leaders and activists. The golden boys from the Chhatra League took position on the roads with rods and sticks…our boys have driven them away,” Fakhrul told the rally.
He said their party leaders and activists arranging the rally overcoming all barriers and odds have sent out a message that the people of Bangladesh will no longer bow down to any obstacles. “They must free this country from misrule.”
‘AL a party of thieves, corrupt people’
The BNP leader said it is the Awami League, which repeatedly destroyed democracy in Bangladesh. “They obliterated democracy by introducing Baksal in 1975 and they’ve now established tyranny in the name of democracy.”
Coming down hard on the ruling party, the BNP leader said the Awami League is a party of thieves and looters. “Their leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman himself called them thieves in 1974… “Theft, corruption and robbery are the core genetic problems of the Awami League.”
He said the Awami League not only abolished democracy, but also destroyed all the democratic institutions. “They have done the biggest damage by destroying the election system and depriving us of our ownership of the country and our right to change the government after every five years through casting our votes. We can’t now give our votes.”
‘No fair polls under AL’
Referring to by-polls to Gaibandha-5, he said the ruling party leaders have been saying that fair elections will be conducted through the current Election Commission (EC). “We have said the elections would not be fair under a partisan government and it has proved true.”
The BNP leader said the EC has installed 1380 Closed Circuit Cameras at the polling stations in the Gaibandha-5 seat amid the presence of a huge number of law enforcers. “But the Commission had to suspend the election by noon. Because no fair election can be held under the Awami League government.”
AL regime to be swept away by strong movement: Fakhrul
Earlier on Wednesday, the Election Commission (EC) suspended the by-election to the Gainbandha-5 parliamentary seat over widespread allegations of vote rigging and voter intimidation.
‘Govt must quit’
He said the current government must quit and dissolve the parliament by forming a non-party neutral government. “A fresh election commission will be constituted under the neutral government to conduct a credible election for establishing a government and a parliament of people.”
Besides, he said that the government must free Khaleda Zia without any condition and withdraw all political cases against the opposition leaders and activists.
The BNP leader also urged the government to pull out all restrictions on democratic programmes like rallies and processions.
He said their party, if voted to power, will ensure a democratic atmosphere, restore democracy, lower the prices of daily essentials, fuel and establish peace in the country.
He said the people of Chattogram and Mymensingh showed a mass uprising through their huge participation in the two rallies. “We’ll surely force this regime to quit and hold the election under a non-party administration through united efforts of the people.”
The BNP leader recalled that five leaders of their party and its associate bodies were killed in the recent anti-government movement. “They have taken bullets in their chests to free the country. We take an oath that we won’t let the sacrifice of their blood go in vain.”
‘BNP to form govt with people’s votes’
BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said lakhs of people gave their verdict against holding the next polls under the current Awami League government by their spontaneous participation in the BNP’s divisional rallies in Chattogram and Mymensingh.
Abbas said that their party would not participate in any election under the Awami League government. “The election must be held under a non-party neutral government. “BNP always came to power with people’s votes, not through the elections without voters.”
He said their party will again come to power with the people’s vote through a credible election under a non-party caretaker government.