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Khaleda spells out ‘conditions’ for polls

Khaleda spells out ‘conditions’ for polls

Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia on Saturday (Feb 3) put forth six conditions for joining the upcoming parliamentary polls. Delivering her opening speech at the party’s national executive committee meeting at Le Meridien hotel in the capital, the BNP chief urged the government to shun ‘‘repression’’ and create a ‘‘peaceful’’ atmosphere for the polls, local media reports said.

The conditions are holding the election under a polls-time ‘‘neutral’’ government, dissolving parliament before the elections, army deployment during the polls, ensuring a ‘‘congenial’’ atmosphere for voters to go to polling centres, allowing Election Commission to act ‘‘neutrally’’ and discarding the plan to use EVM.

Khaleda assured the party’s national executive committee that the country’s people, administration, police and armed forces were with the party. She called on the party leaders and activists to stay united and fight together if any crisis arose over the upcoming court verdict in a corruption case against her.

During the closed door session, Khaleda warned tough organisational action if anybody of the party took any ‘‘imprudent’’ step, said leaders emerging from the meeting. She also asked the party’s top executive body members not to act against the administration, they said.

She said that at worst she might go to jail in the ‘‘conspiratorial’’ graft case when many of her party were languishing in jail, according to a leader attending the meeting. Khaleda concluded her speech with a call to maintain unity at any cost.

She assured that those party leaders and activists who had played role in the past movements were honoured and would be rewarded if her party would come to power through a fair and inclusive general election under a non-party neutral government.

Khaleda said her party was an election-oriented party and would want change of power only through election, not by other means. The BNP chairperson said no EVM and DVM would be ‘‘allowed’’ in the election and army must be deployed in the election and the parliament dissolved.

A video speech of BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman, who has been staying in London since September 2008, was played in the meeting. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir read out the organisational report while joint secretary general Mahbub Uddin Khokon read out the condolence resolution.

The meeting observed one-minute silence for those party leaders, activists and national and international eminent persons who died after BNP’s national council session on Mar 19, 2016. After the inaugural session, the national executive committee went into a closed door session in the noon. A total of 42 leaders addressed the session.