No polls under Hasina

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BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said she would continue the movement for a non-party administration to oversee the next national polls, whether or not anyone was with her.
She was addressing a pro-BNP professionals’ convention, which was allowed to take place on certain conditions amid a police ban on political gatherings in the capital.
Khaleda said, “I hope you will stand by me. Even if you don’t, I shall continue the agitation on my own and won’t stop till the demand is met. ”
The BNP chief reiterated that the opposition would not allow the next general election to be held under any government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The opposition leader’s comments came two days after the prime minister proposed forming an all-party polls-time government.
At the convention, leaders of pro-BNP professional bodies called upon Khaleda to wage a tougher movement to dethrone the Hasina government.
Bangladesh Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad arranged the meet to press for restoration of the caretaker government system, release of Mahmudur Rahman and an end to the “conspiracy against Zia family”.
Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the daily Amar Desh, is the convener of the Parishad, comprised of 19 pro-BNP organisations of professionals including doctors, teachers, journalists, lawyers and engineers.
After an eight-hour drama since the morning, Dhaka Metropolitan Police changed their earlier stance and gave permission for the convention at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre on certain conditions.
The programme started around 3:00pm.
In her speech, Khaleda said free and fair election was not possible under Hasina administration. “Taking part in any election under you [Hasina] would mean harming ourselves,” she added.
To Hasina, she also said, “You did not accept KM Hasan [former chief justice] as the caretaker government chief in 2007. How can we now accept you and participate in any election under you?”
She alleged the government was out to hold one-sided polls with the help of police, Rab and BGB.  “If you think you will be able to do that, you are wrong. We will not allow any such polls.”
The BNP chief remarked, “There’s no sign of election and yet you are crisscrossing the country seeking votes.  No one will get on your leaky boat [the AL’s election symbol].”
She then urged the government to “take the right decision in time and bring a bill in parliament to restore the caretaker government system.”
Khaleda also told the audience that she would speak at a press conference today about the opposition movement and her stance on the PM’s proposal.
Former vice-chancellors of Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University Prof Emajuddin Ahmed and Prof Khandaker Mustahidur Rahman, columnist Farhad Mazhar and Brac University teacher Pias Karim, among others, spoke at the event.
The speakers said only Khaleda could save democracy and save people from the government “oppression”.
Terming her the saviour, they demanded the BNP chief announce one-point movement to oust the government.

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