B Chy now talking about space for opposition!

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury. Prothom Alo File Photo
Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury. Prothom Alo File Photo

AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, chairman of Jukta Front that formed alliance with the ruling Awami League before the 30 December polls, on Thursday expressed concern at the poor presence of voters in many places during the upazila elections.

In this context, he cautioned, the voters' apathy might put democracy in a grave danger.

"The government must think why the upazila elections are not participatory ones. The presence of voters is also very thin in many places. The government will have to find out the reasons behind it," he was quoted by UNB as saying.

Speaking at a discussion, the former president, B Chowdhury, said, "I fear if the voters get reluctant about election, democracy will fall in serious danger. Nothing can be more alarming than voters' apathy."

Bangladesh Sharia Andolan, one of the components of Jukta Front, organised the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking the Independence Day and the organisation's second founding anniversary.

B Chowdhury said political space for opposition parties must be ensured to ensure participatory elections and increase people's interest in voting.

"A good government which pursues Bangabandhu's dreams and ideals must think of creating scope for opposition to do politics. Opposition parties are there in all the democratic countries in the world. Democracy is incomplete without opposition parties."

He said it is the government's responsibility to create an atmosphere where opposition can do politics and participate in the election.

Following difference of opinion with the opposition alliance of Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front) led by Kamal Hossain and the BNP, B Chowdhury and his followers joined electoral alliance with the AL to contest the parliamentary polls plagued by allegations of massive rigging, ballot stuffing, intimidation and arrest and harassment of the opposition leaders and activists.

Describing the upazila elections as lopsided ones, the Jukta Front chief said the credibility of the election can be put under question when it remains limited to a party. "If we believe in the existence of Bangabandhu, and his politics and dreams, we must free democracy for all."

He also said the politics of respect must be revived in the country shunning the politics of hatred and vengeance.

About the recent killing of a private university student in a road accident in the capital, B Chowdhury said road accidents are growing due to carelessness among drives and lack of enforcement of laws. "There're many laws in the country to ensure road safety, but those are not being enforced. It's a matter of shame."

He urged the government to take effective steps to make the roads safe for commuters.