BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday (May 29, 2023) said the government has softened its tone on talks to resolve the political crisis over the next election through talks as its overenthusiasm has waned following the US visa policy for Bangladesh.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said their party wants a peaceful transfer of power through a credible election under a non-party caretaker government.
In an oblique reference to the US visa policy, the BNP leader said, “They (AL) wanted to establish a one-party Baksal rule again under a different cover. But man proposes God disposes.”
He also said the ruling party leaders were trembling with very much excitement just a few days back for holding the next polls under the current government. “But now their excitement has started to wear off. Their tone has come down. They’re now saying the problem has to be resolved through talks as they don’t want unrest.”
BNP arranged the discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh marking the 42nd death anniversary of its founder Ziaur Rahman.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government does not want any more unrest and conflict rather it wants to improve the quality of people's lives.
Fakhrul said the government is inciting violence by attacking different peaceful programmes of the opposition. “But we (BNP) are not obstructing their programmes.”
He said the movement that their party has been carrying out for a long time has come to the final stage.
The BNP leader reiterated their party’s demand that the next election must be held under a non-party caretaker government.
The BNP leader said the government must step down, and dissolve parliament by handing over power to a non-party neutral government for holding a credible election.
“You (PM) must quit as the country’s people don’t think the election will be fair keeping you in power. The election must be held under a caretaker government. “Our political culture and previous experiences suggest elections can never be held in a free and fair manner under a partisan government, especially under the Awami League government,” he said.
The BNP leader said there is nothing new to see the elections under the Awami League government as the nation witnessed what happened in the 2014 and 2018 polls.
“We would like to say it clearly that we want the transfer of power peacefully. We want to establish a government of people through an election in a peaceful manner. We want to restore the system where people will be able to cast their votes,” Fakhrul said.
He said they also want the election to be held under a neutral caretaker government to be conducted by an impartial election commission so that people can exercise their right to franchise freely to elect their representatives by themselves.
The BNP leader also warned his party colleagues not to fall into the trap to be set by the government by conducting various propaganda and unleashing violence.
“They (govt) will try to shift the blame onto us after carrying out the arson violence by them. They also did the same thing in the past. So, everyone should be very careful. We’ll carry out our movement in a peaceful and democratic manner,” he said.
About the media reports on the sudden rise in the flow of remittance from the US, Fakhrul said it is surprising. “What magic is behind the rise in remittances from America? People are saying the thieves are bringing back the money that they have stolen and siphoned off America.”