Resist polls at any cost: Tarique

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Terming tomorrow’s parliamentary polls ‘farcial’, BNP Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman has urged people of the country to resist the election at any cost.

He made the call through a video message sent from London today, a day after Khaleda Zia, opposition chief and also Tarique’s mother, made similar call for boycotting the election.

Mired in controversy, the 10th parliamentary election is going to be held in just 147 out of 300 seats in 59 out of 64 districts of the country amid boycott by the main opposition, BNP, and its allies.

“Now is the time to forget differences. Unite and join in the movement against the government. Wait no more for orders,” Tarique said.

The whole country is submerged in deep uncertainty.

“People are the basis of politics. We all have our own political ideologies. It could be different, however. But we are at a same point having this country and its citizens in our minds.”

He added that they might have different opinions on how to make the country even more affluent, but cannot have differences on the question of the existence of the country.

“Unfortunately, the reality is the ongoing political crisis has been started surrounding this question.”

In an oblique reference to the ruling Awami League, he alleged that a small political power has changed the definition of the independence and sovereignty.

Without mentioning the name of India, Tarique said relation with the neighbouring country could have been normal and reciprocal but the ruling party is using that relation for its personal narrow interest.

He said the AL went to power five years ago through a process of political transition. “The process was questionable, but BNP accepted it and went to opposition for the sake of democracy.”

Looting of properties, destruction of sovereignty and suppression of critics and contestants have proved that the process of power handover was an evil design.

The countrymen have shown their distrust on the ruling party by electing BNP backed candidates at city corporation elections.

“Is Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League afraid of standing in the doc? Are they really planning to go back to the politics of BAKSAL?” he posed the questions saying: “We all know the history of bottomless basket BAKSAL.”

“Why would we go back to that awful past?

Referring to Justice KM Hassan who was supposed to be chief adviser of caretaker government in 2006, he said: “Awami League didn’t accept KM Hassan, alleging him to be pro-BNP man, so why shall we accept Hasina, when she is not only non-neutral but also the chief of Awami League? On what basis BNP would go to polls?”

Refuting logic by Hasina and her party on holding the election under a political government is a must to uphold constitution, the BNP leader said the constitution is not a divine revelation. “Is it for people or the people for constitution? Bangladesh has amended it for 15 times. Why we can’t amend it for the 16th time? AL is not saying anything logical.”

He alleged that the government is holding the polls without participation of the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance and other political parties when many national and international surveys clearly say 90 percent people of the county want a free and fair parliamentary election under a neutral caretaker government.

He added that the discussions, commentaries and articles of eminent citizens, constitutional experts, international media and diplomats have made it clear that a free fair and neutral election with participation of all parties is the most desired thing for Bangladesh.

“Because, our right to exercise democracy is depended on our right of voting,” Tarique added.

In the meantime, the government has arranged a farcical election where more than half candidates have been elected uncontested. “People would refrain from casting votes.”

In the staged-managed election by the AL, more than half of the total voters would not be able franchise their voting right as 153 constituencies have single candidate.

He accused the AL of depriving the citizens of their right to vote which comes once in five years.

“This is the most deceiving polls in the world history.”

Those who believe in the mainstream democracy in the country, the time has come for them to be united to boycott, resist and prevent the January 5 polls, he added.

“Not in the personal or party interest, this has to be done for the sake of the existence and the future of the country.”

Saying Hasina told that she was ready to sacrifice even her premiership for peace, Tarique added that the pre-condition of that peace is stopping the polls showing respect to the Bangladeshi people.

The BNP-led 18-party opposition combine is carryon on with the countrywide movement to restore democracy.

“We have to create resistance in each and every house across the country to show respect to the departed souls during the movement.”

“I am pledging that their sacrifices will not go in vein; we will bring back the democracy and the politics of development,” the BNP leader said.

“Sacrificing the sovereignty of the country, bleeding on Islam and religious harmony and trashing the people’s demand for a caretaker government and holding a shameful polls, does it suit a so-called democratic party?,” Tarique posed the question addressing AL leaders.

He said the tenure of the government is depending on the principle of a neighbouring state.

The BNP leader said the people in police, Rab, BGB and administration should remember that they are serving the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, not the ruling party.

“You cannot go against your people whatever the condition of the state becomes and the government plans for,” he said adding your driving power is your conscience and your employers are the hardworking people of the country.

“When people will overthrow this government, you might have to face justice along with them,” Tarique warned.

He urged people to reach one goal: resisting what he termed “the autocrat government” and “farcial election” .

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