They are not willing to go to the elections under the current government. However, Awami League is heard to participate in the election at the appointed time, excluding BNP if necessary.
BNP training affairs secretary ABM Mosharraf Hossain said, ‘We will not go to the elections under this government in any way. We will continue the movement. More strict programs will be given next week after the end of the blockade. We have no other option but movement.’
When asked how the movement will be conducted if the top leaders of BNP are arrested, he said, ‘Party acting chairman Tariq Rahman is out of the country. He is basically giving direction to the movement. Leaders at different levels are in contact with him. He has a network. And how many of our leaders will be arrested here? At some point, it is decided who will do what.’
He said, ‘Now we have no other option but movement. We are not thinking of anything else as an alternative to movement. And in the direction the situation is going, we think that the government will face more pressure at the international level.’
‘We are now trying to avoid arrest as much as possible. The instructions to us are the same. The movement will not stop if we are arrested,’ said this BNP leader.
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal informed US Ambassador Peter Haas about the preparations for the election on time. Election Commissioner Anichur Rahman is also saying the same thing. According to the Election Commission, it is not for them to see who came to the election and who did not.
When asked about the election, Awami League’s organizing secretary Ahmed Hossain said, ‘People did not respond to BNP’s movement in the country. The strike is not being blocked. BNP is running now. BNP is burning itself in the fire of its own terror. If a terrorist party like BNP does not come to the polls, nothing will happen. Those who are democratic party, they will come to the election. There will be elections.’
When asked if the government wants to hold elections without BNP, he said, ‘Will the election train wait for BNP or not? Will the democratic process stop for them? Will the state become immobile? It won’t. The country will not stop for them. The election will not stop.’
He said, ‘We are fully prepared for the election. Everything including our candidate is final. Now when the whistle blows, we will go to the polls.’
“We are not feeling any pressure,” he said about the international pressure regarding the elections with the participation of all parties.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Wednesday regarding the political dialogue, ‘We will talk to those who will come. But they have to come unconditionally. We must speak according to the structure of the constitution. If someone says something outside the constitution, it will not happen.’
Second day of siege
On the second day of the three-day blockade program called by BNP-Jamaat, there were incidents of burning buses in some districts including Dhaka. Chhatra Dal and Jamaat clashed with Chhatra League and Volunteer League members in Sylhet. At least seven people including pedestrians were injured. Police arrested six leaders and workers of Chhatra Dal and BNP.
Don’t Catch Bokharee (3)
BNP-Jamaat has held small jhtica marches in Dhaka and outside Dhaka in support of the blockade.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Rahul Kabir Rizvi said in a Zoom statement from an unknown location on Wednesday afternoon, ‘Yesterday (Tuesday) the Prime Minister’s press conference speech proved that he wants to hold a one-sided election again without voters. He does not believe in political compromise and harmony and free, participatory and fair elections.’
He alleged, ‘Law and order forces have indulged in more reckless and hellish rampages. They have become more ferocious in their killing sprees. On 28th, 29th and 31st of October, they participated in the killing competition in different places of the country including Dhaka in the program of BNP. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights said the masked helmeted men were government officials.
Meanwhile, BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas has been taken into police remand for five days.
The report was prepared by Haroon ur Rashid Swapan for the Bengali edition of German media Deutsche Welle. All responsibility for this report rests with Deutsche Welle.