Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that since opposition BNP has a history of tainted polls it has no right now to raise question about election.
“The history of elections during BNP regimes is so much contaminated… they do not have any right to talk about election,” she said while addressing a discussion arranged by Awami League to mark her homecoming from exile in India in 1981.
Held at the party’s central office at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue she joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Hasina mentioned how the BNP government rigged the Magura parliamentary bye-election in 1994 to snatch away the victory of her party’s candidate.
The blatant rigging, she said, triggered a popular movement to force Khaleda Zia’s government to quit and hand over power to a neutral caretaker government to hold the parliamentary election.
She also referred to the February 15 parliamentary election Khaleda held in 1996 which was boycotted by the opposition parties and shunned by voters.
Similarly elections were rigged by BNP in 1981 and by Ziaur Rahman in 1977, 1978 and1979, Hasina said.
She said that BNP, knowing quite well that they would suffer a huge defeat in the next general election, is now trying to make it questionable
Hasina also wondered about the leadership of BNP.
“BNP has no leadership at all, all are convicted criminals, it is not possible to win any election by convicted criminals,” she said adding, she has a question regarding BNP’s recent move about the election.
“If people do not respond to their movement, who will be held responsible for that,” she wondered.
She said that the development of the election system was the brainchild of the Awami League. She mentioned about the voters’ list with picture, transparent ballot box and EVM.
“We want to establish the right to vote by the voters. So their (BNP) concern is just meaningless,” she said.
Hasina, also the chief of the ruling Awami League, said her party has been elected by the people. It has returned the voting rights to the people.
“Awami League has returned the people’s democratic right to them. That is its biggest strength and as we are in power by that strength we are working for the people,” she said.