Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – Leaders of the BNP-led 20-party alliance on Monday welcomed the new opposition alliance, Jatiya Oikya Front.
BNP standing committee member and 20-party coordinator Nazrul Islam Khan came up with the remark while briefing reporters after a meeting of the alliance’s top leaders at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
“Our meeting discussed the demands and targets of the Jatiya Oikya Front. We reached a consensus that the formation of the new alliance is a progress towards restoration of democracy by removing the autocratic regime,” he said.
“That’s why we, on behalf of the 20-party, welcomed the new front,” Nazrul added.
He said the 20-party leaders hoped that people’s movement for forcing the government to accept their justified demands for holding the next election under a non-party administration will be intensified in the days to come with the formation of the Jatiya Oikya Front.
The 20-party coordinator also said the alliance leaders thanked the Oikya Front for including Khaleda Zia’s release from jail in their 7-point demand.
On Saturday, BNP together with Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Rob) and Nagorik Oikya started the journey of Jatiya Oikya Front through a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
Top leaders of the 20-party, including BJP chairman Andalib Rahman Partha, Kalyan Party chairman Syed Mohammad Ibrahim, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Abdul Halim, Islami Oikya Jote’s AMA Rakib, Khelafat Majlish’s Ahmad Abdul Kader and LDP’s Redwan Ahmed were present at the meeting chaired by BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Talking to UNB, a 20-party leader, wishing anonymity, said some 20-party leaders wanted to know from the BNP leaders about how the 20-party alliance’s future course of action after the party’s involvement with another alliance.
They also seek an explanation from the BNP leaders about what would be their role in the next election and different programmes to be announced by the Jatiya Oikya Front.
He said Fakhrul assured the alliance leaders that the importance of the 20-party will not diminish due to the formation of the Oikya Front.
“Our future programmes can be separate or simultaneous ones. The 20-party will work together with the Oikya front based on same demands and goals. The role and importance of the 20-party will remain same as it was in the past,” the 20-party leader quoted Fakhrul as telling the meeting.
National People’s Party (NPP) chairman Fariduzzaman Farhad said the meeting could not reach any conclusion whether the 20-party will observe same programmes with the Oikya Front simultaneously. “We’ll hold another meeting very soon to decide it.”
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – BNP on Monday alleged that people are now suffering from ‘digital phobia’ as the government enacted various ‘black laws’ like Digital Security Act to ‘restrict’ the freedom of expression.
“You (govt) have formulated various black laws, including the Digital Security Act, to lock up democracy, gag people’s voice and suppress the freedom of expression,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, he also alleged that people now cannot say anything openly out of fear of reprisal. “People are now suffering from digital phobia.”
Referring to a media report on the procurement of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the BNP leader said the cat has now come out of the bag as the EVMs were purchased at 11 time higher prices than India.
Rizvi alleged the main motive behind procuring the EVMs is to plunder huge amount of public money ahead of the national election. “There’s a question in public mind whether the huge amount of money was given to some particular persons at the Election Commission as a gift ahead of the polls.”
About the boycott of the Commission’s today’s meeting by Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder, the BNP leader said it was a right decision against the snatching of freedom of expression. “The Chief Election Commissioner doesn’t listen to any one as he only works on the messages come from the Prime Minister’s Office.”
Reacting to Prime Minister’s various remarks about BNP at her Sunday’s Madaripur rally, Rizvi said Sheikh Hasina’s comments were ‘weird and self-contradictory’ which made people stunned.
He said the Prime Minister tried to shift the blame of her party’s various misdeeds onto others through her comments at the rally.
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury on Monday said Jatiya Oikya Front was formed with the leaders who had contributions to the Liberation War to defeat the evil forces.
“Bangladesh’s distinguished and accepted leaders who had contributions to the Liberation War have now got united reflecting people’s aspirations. The evil forces got defeated during the Language Movement, the Liberation War and anti-autocracy movement as the nation became united,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, “The evil forces will surely be defeated this time as the nation has now got united with the formation of the Jatiya Jukta Front.”
Nagorik Odhikar Andolon, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club demanding cancellation of convictions of Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman and the release of all political prisoners.
On Saturday, BNP, Jatiya Oikya Prokriya and a faction of Jukta Front launched a new opposition alliance, ‘Jatiya Oikya Front’, ahead of the 11th national election.
Khosru, also a BNP standing committee member, said people have now got united to restore their ownership of the country and voting rights by ensuring the rule of law, freedom of expression and press freedom.
He called upon all to wage a united movement under the Jatiya Oikya Front platform to realise people’s all demands and restore their rights. “I urge all to join the movement with courage.”
“The national unity will destroy the reign of terror established by the government across the country with intimidation and repressive acts. We shouldn’t now sit idle as we’ll have to wage a movement urgently by completing all the tasks of the national unity,” the BNP leader added.
Amir Khosru alleged that the government has taken an ‘election project’ to annihilate democracy by holding the next polls keeping people out of the election process.
As part of the project, he said, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was sent to jail in a ‘false’ case, and the verdicts in the August-21 grenade attack cases were given convicting party acting Chairman Tarique Rahman.
He said the government’s dream of implementing its ‘election project’ has already got shattered as the journey of the Jatiya Jukta Front began three days after the August-21 cases verdicts.
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – Amid concern about its fate after the formation of Jatiya Oikya Front, top leaders of the BNP-led 20-party alliance is going to sit in a meeting this (Monday) evening to discuss its next course of action.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at BNP chairperson's Gulshan office at 6:30pm, said Khaleda Zia's media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan.
It will be the first formal meeting of the alliance after BNP formed another alliance with Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) and Nagorik Oikya two days back.
A top leader of the 20-party alliance, wishing anonymity, said they will elaborately discuss how the 20-party alliance will work and its future course of action after BNP’s involvement with another alliance.
He said they will also seek an explanation from the BNP leaders about what will be their role in the next election and different programmes to be announced by the Jatiya Oikya Front in the days to come.
A BNP senior leader said they will inform the alliance partners the perspective of forming another alliance and its strategy so that no misunderstanding is created among them.
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) - Issuing a ‘note of dissent’, Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder boycotted a meeting of the Election Commission again on Monday.
Ten minutes after the start of the 36th meeting of the Commission at Nirbachan Bhaban with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair, Talukder issued his ‘note of dissent’ and left the meeting room.
He boycotted the meeting for not evaluating his opinions and disagreement on various issues, said Talukder.
On August 30 last, he boycotted another meeting of the Commission issuing a ‘note of dissent’.