BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said they have no problem taking tea with the prime minister at her office if she accepts the party’s demand for the caretaker government to oversee the next polls.
“You first say that you’re accepting the caretaker government system. You come up with this announcement and then we'll have no problem having tea at the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said responding to PM Sheikh Hasina’s offer made on Saturday.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said the formation of a representative parliament and government having accountability to people is the only solution to the country’s current political and economic crisis.
The Association of Engineers, Bangladesh arranged the programme on the ongoing crisis in the power and energy sector at the Jatiya Press Club.
He also said the country is now facing an economic crisis caused by widespread corruption as the government is not accountable to people.
“So, we would like to say, there is no point in making a blunt comment like offering tea. We would like to say one thing that you step down handing over power to a non-party neutral government and pave the way for an acceptable and inclusive election under a new election commission and thus take back Bangladesh,” the BNP leader said pointing at the PM.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she would offer BNP leaders tea if they come to besiege her office (Prime Minister's Office).
"I will listen to them – whatever they want to say. I believe in democracy," she said while speaking at a meeting of Awami League's Dhaka North and South units.
Fakhrul said they are in talks with political parties to forge unity for ensuring the fall of the Awami League government.
“We must be united to get rid of the awful regime. I urge the country’s people to get united for defeating the current government through a street movement and thus materialise the dreams of the country’s Liberation War,” he said.
About the power crisis, the BNP leader said the government has increased the power generation capacity without thinking of the sources of fuel and energy needed for it.
"Unfortunately, this government wants us to wear shoes that are much bigger than what they need. As a result, they are now unable to walk and getting stumbled. They take steps for quick rental power plants and nuclear power plants for power generation, but they didn’t think about where the fuel will come from,” he observed.
Stating that 51 per cent of fuel for power generation comes from gas, he said the government has not made any step for exploring it in the last 15 years. “They have been in power for 15 years. In these 15 years, they have only focused on how to plunder thousands of crores of taka and siphoned it off abroad.”
Fakhrul alleged that country and its people are facing an economic crisis for the misdeeds of the government. “Their (govt’s) corruption, looting, incapability and failure all together have made people’s lives miserable in Bangladesh.”
He said the ruling party leaders bragged about turning Bangladesh into Malaysia, Canada and San Francisco, but the poverty rate in the country has increased to 40-42 per cent. People are now unable to manage two meals a day. Even, 21 per cent of people in some districts of Bangladesh, including Kurigram, Gaibandha and Sunamganj, cannot eat two meals a day.”
The BNP leader said the ruling party leaders are now making reckless comments due to the economic crisis amid the decline in the flow of remittances.
He alleged that people in rural areas are hit hard by the frequent power outages. “The load-shedding is highest in the rural areas as the government wants to keep the people of cities happy with fewer power outages, but it will hamper crop production and put the food security at stake.”