Cancel schedule, hold dialogue: Pro-BNP professionals

BSPP rally in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka. 24 NovemberShuvro Kanti Das

Leaders of professional bodies have called for the election schedule to be cancelled and for an environment conducive to elections to be created. Calling for a dialogue to this end, the leaders said that if there is another one-sided election, the country will go towards a complete one-party rule.

These statements were made today, Friday, at a rally of professionals held in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka. Organised by the BNP-leaning Bangladesh Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad (BSPP), the rally raised demands for a halt too indiscriminate arrest and repression of professionals, release of all political prisoners including professionals, cancellation of the schedule for a one-sided election and an inclusive election under a non-partisan government.

Speaking at the rally, journalist leader Ruhul Amin Gazi said that the people would not allow the government hold yet another farcical election as in 2014 and 2018 to stay in power. Addressing the government he said, you will not be able to hold the election by keeping all the opposition leaders in jail.

Ruhul Amin, pointing out that suddenly the BNP leaders were being convicted, asked what sort of democracy was there where they did not want to lose. He called upon the government to postpone the schedule, hold dialogue and created an environment for inclusive elections.

Speaking a chief guest at the rally, Dhaka University's former teacher and advisor to the BNP chairperson, Professor Tajmeri SA Islam called for an environment conducive to inclusive elections. She said that after disrupting the 28 October BNP rally, all the party people were being arrested dramatically and then the schedule was hurriedly announced. She called for the schedule to be cancelled and a new schedule to be announced after ensuring everyone could contest in the election.

Additional police were deployed in front of the press club during the rally. Referring to this at the rally, former leader of Dhaka University Teachers Association and president of University Teachers Association of Bangladesh (UTAB), Professor ABM Obaidul Islam said, the police are all around. Such repression must halt.

Speaking at the rally, Zia Parishad chairman Professor Abdul Quddus said, the government will not be able to get away with a one-sided election. The government has locked up all the BNP offices around the country. He said it would be impossible to come to power through a one-sided election.

Agriculturalist Rashidul Hasan said, if there is another one-sided election, the country will go completely under a one-party rule.

Moderated by Bangladesh Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad member secretary Kader Ghani Chowdhury, the rally was also addressed by Shahidul Islam, general secretary Khurshid Alam, Dhaka University white panel convener Professor Lutfur Rahman, Association of Engineers Bangladesh's president Engineer Reazul Islam, Jahangirnagar University Jatiyatabadi Shikhak Forum leaders Professor Shamsul Alam and Professor Kamrul Ahsan, Agriculturalist Association of Bangladesh's agriculturist Rashidul Hasan and GKM Mustafizur Rahman, Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB) leaders MA Selim, Shahid Hasan, Sarkar Mahbub Ahmed, Dhaka Union of Journalist (DUJ) president Md Shahidul Islam, general secretary Md Khurshid Alam and others.

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