Seniors leaders of the BNP have said the party will not join the next general election if their chairperson Khaleda Zia remains in jail.
While speaking at a token hunger strike on Monday, the BNP leaders urged the political parties and the people of all walks of life to get united to ‘restore’ democracy and force the government to hold the next polls under a non-party administration.
As part of its countrywide programmes, BNP observed a seven-hour token hunger strike at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in Dhaka to protest the Supreme Court order upholding its stay on bail granted by the High Court to Khaleda Zia in a murder case filed in Cumilla.
Leaders, activists of BNP and its associate bodies and 20-praty alliance and some pro-BNP professionals joined the programme that started at 9am.
Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, founder of the Gonoshasthya Kendra, ended the hunger strike by feeding senior BNP leaders juice around4:10pm.
Back in July 2, the apex court upheld its previous order staying the High Court order that had granted bail to Khaleda in a murder case filed over the arson attack in Cumilla on February 3, 2015.
Speaking to the press, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will not take part in the elections without Khaleda Zia.
“Through their speeches over the long time at the programme, our party leaders clearly said no election will be allowed to be held in the country keeping Khaleda Zia in jail,” he said.
He demanded the government release Khaleda Zia for better treatment.
The BNP leader also demanded the government reconstitute the Election Commission, dissolve parliament, deploy army before the national election to create a level-playing field and proper polls atmosphere.
Fakhrul alleged that the government put Khaleda behind bars to keep her and BNP way from politics and the national election.
The BNP leader called upon all the political parties and professionals to come forward to forge a national unity to free the country from the current ‘autocratic government’s’ rule’ restore democracy and people’s rights.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Dhaka University former VC Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, Dr Zafrullah and leaders of the 20-party alliance and BNP, among others, spoke at the programme.