BNP to hold talks with political parties

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirProthom Alo file photo

As the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) is determined to boycott the ongoing dialogues of president Abdul Hamid with different political parties on the reconstitution of election commission, the party has now decided to hold talks with all the political parties to discuss the country’s overall political situation.

A virtual meeting of the party standing committee, its highest policymaking body, on Monday took the decision, said a press release signed by BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday.

“The meeting discussed the dialogue between the political parties and the president on the formation of the election commission. In the overall political context, a decision has been taken to exchange views with all political parties.”

However, the party did not mention when the talks will start.

Last week, the BNP policymakers decided not to take part in the dialogue with president Abdul Hamid as it thinks it will be a “pointless” exercise.

President Abdul Hamid began dialogue with the registered political parties over the formation of the new election commission from 20 December last year.

The tenure of the current EC, led by KM Nurul Huda, is set to expire on 14 February this year.

As per the constitution, a new commission must be formed before the expiry of the present EC.

Rallies to continue

The policymakers of BNP , the de facto opposition, also decided to hold rallies in the rest of the districts from 12 January as part of its movement for allowing the party chairperson Khaleda Zia to go abroad.

The meeting entrusted the BNP secretary general with the task of working out detailed programmes in this regard.

Earlier, the party organised similar rallies in 32 districts across the country between 22 and 30 December.

The BNP standing committee also crticised the ruling Awami League for attacking their party’s peaceful rally in Sirajganj on 29 December and spraying bullets on the party leaders and activists and common people, leaving many of them injured.

They voiced anger alleging that police neither filed any case nor arrested any ruling party cadres although their photos with firearms were published in national newspapers and on social media. “Rather, a reign of terror has been established there by filing false cases against the BNP leaders and arresting them and raiding their houses. We strongly condemn and protest it.”

The BNP policymakers demanded immediate arrest of the identified “Awami cadres” and legal action against them.

They also alleged that the government filed cases against the BNP leaders and activists in some other districts including Habiganj and Patuakhali, in the same style by attacking their rallies.

The BNP standing committee urged the government to withdraw the “false” cases filed against the BNP leaders and activists and release those arrested.

Concern over killing by ‘RAB’

The BNP standing committee meeting also expressed deep concern over the media reports on the recent killings of two peoples -- one in Tongi and the other in Chattogram -- by members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

They urged BNP human rights affairs secretary Asaduzzaman to collect necessary information on the killings.