Opposition BNP on Monday warned the government that its exit will be painful if it fails to reach a compromise with the opposition over the next general election.
“We want to tell the government that your days are numbered. Juts a few weeks are left. Still there’s a time to come to the negotiation table over holding the polls under a non-party administration and don’t make your exit painful,” said BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Addressing a rally, he also claimed that most people in the country and civil society members want the election under a non-party caretaker government.
He alleged that the government is trying to hang onto power by using the ambiguities in the Constitution. “You (govt) want to score goals without any opponent in the field keeping ambiguities in the Constitution. But the country’s people won’t allow you to do so.”
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal arranged the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, marking the 6th ‘jail release day’ of BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.
Though the JCD was scheduled to take out a colourful rally from the Suhrawardy Udyan after the rally, they could not do so as Dhaka Metropolitan Police did not give them permission.
Thousands of JCD leaders and activists attended the rally with Tarique’s portraits.
JCD leaders alleged their over 50 activists were arrested and many more harassed by police and in different parts of city when they were coming to join the rally.
Fakhrul condemned the police action and demanded immediate release of the arrested JCD men.
Tarique, the eldest son of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, and current chairperson Khaleda Zia, has been in London since 2008.
The BNP senior vice chairman was arrested on March 7, 2007 during the army-backed interim regime and freed from jail on bail on September 3, 2008 and left for London for treatment eight days later.
Fakhrul said the government is carrying out false propaganda against Tarique as it is afraid of his popularity and political acumen.
He said the government despite its hectic efforts could not prove any allegation of corruption against Tarique.
“They (govt) are hatching various plots and carrying out false propaganda to malign him as they have got scared of his huge popularity. But they could not harm him and his popularity,” Fakhrul added.
Chaired by JCD president Abdul Quader Bhuiyan Jewel, the rally was addressed, among others by BNP leaders Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Fazlul Haq Milon, Shaheeduddin Chowdhury Aneey and Asaduzzaman Khan Ripon.