Saving democracy: Khaleda seeks civil admin, military help

Rashed Ahmed Mitul and Quazi Amanullah . Khulna

 

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Sunday sought ‘cooperation’ from all, including the administration, police and military, to ‘protect’ democracy.
Addressing a huge public meeting at the Circuit House maidan in Khulna city, she said, ‘The government has two months to serve out. If you are good people, quit power on October 25.’
Khaleda also called for removing Sheikh Hasina’s government to ensure elections under a non-party government.
The rally was organised by the local unit of the BNP-led 18-party alliance.
Khaleda, also leader of the opposition in parliament, extended her support to the movement of National Committee for protecting gas, oil, mineral, power and ports for cancellation of the thermal power plant project at Rampal in Sundarban.
She asked the government to stop installing the power plant at Rampal saying her party had no objection to setting up power plants but it should be in a place where there would be no adverse impact on the environment.
Khaleda said that the coal-fired power plant at Rampal would wreak havoc on the biodiversity of Sunderban.
The BNP chief told her arch political rival that there was still time to amend the constitution for holding free, fair and participatory general elections under a non-party government.
She iterated that fair elections were not possible under Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League and vowed to resist such polls.
Khaleda said BNP and its allies would wait until October 25 to see what steps the government would take about a non-party caretaker government. The opposition alliance led by her party would spell out its ‘next course of action’ if the government did not place a bill for non-party neutral government in the current session of parliament.
She asked the ruling party to pass a caretaker government bill in parliament to pave the way for holding a free, fair and inclusive election.
Otherwise, she warned that the people had ‘awakened’ and the government would not be able to ‘suppress’ them even with the help of ‘others’.
Khaleda claimed that her party’s current movement had ‘popular support’ and urged the civil administration, including police and BGB, and the military to extend support to the cause of the people, democracy and development of the country.
She asked the administration not to resort to any ‘unjust’ and ‘repressive’ measures that would ‘harm democracy’.
The BNP chairperson castigated a ruling party leader’s threat to bureaucrats that they would be sent home if they did not go by the government orders until January 24 next year.
Khaleda said the time of AL government was almost over and it had no power to send the government officials home. Rather, the time has come for the ruling party leaders to pack bags and go home.
She urged the government officials to carry out their duties ‘without fear’ assuring them that BNP would reinstate them after coming to power if they lost their jobs.
Khaleda refuted the allegation of the ruling party that militancy would stage a comeback if BNP came to power.
She claimed that militancy did not rise rather was eliminated during the rule of BNP and referred to the arrest of and action against militants, including Bangla Bhai and Shaikh Abdur Rahman by her government.
She accused the Awami League of giving indulgence to militancy saying that incidents of bomb explosions had occurred at Udichi function in Jessore, Ramna Batamul and CPB rally at Paltan Maidan during the previous tenure of AL government.
Referring to the killing of journalist couple Sagar-Runi, the BNP chief said the ‘real killers’ and ‘masterminds’ behind the murders could not be apprehended as yet because it would expose the corruption in power and gas sector.
During her 50-minute speech, she also referred to the worsening law and order and unrest in the readymade garment sector as well as BNP’s plan for the country’s development if it formed the next government.
She said that the shipping minister who was not supposed to interfere in the affairs of garment sector was responsible for the current chaotic situation in the sector.
Khaleda said her party had a ‘master plan’ for the country’s progress and prosperity. She said her party did not have vendetta against anyone. It would pursue ‘politics of unity’ for the country’s progress.
She said BNP would introduce a ‘new trend’ in politics and a ‘new type’ of governance to create job opportunities for youths and free the country from the curse of corruption and drugs if voted to power.
Thousands of people, including activists and supporters of BNP and its allies from 10 districts of the Khulna division, joined the public meeting braving rough weather.
Presided over by Khulna city BNP president Nazrul Islam Manju, the meeting was also addressed, among others, by BNP leaders Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Moudud Ahmed, Tariqul Islam, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moyeen
Khan, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Amanullah Aman, Khelataf Majlish amir Mohammad Ishaq, Islami Oikya Jote chairman Abdul Latif Nezami, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Shamsul Islam and JAGPA president Shafiul Alam Prodhan.

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