Reacting to the PM’s remarks, Fakhrul said they long ago turned down the possibility of talks with the current government. “Awami League will be held responsible if the next election becomes uncertain or if something worse happens in the next election.”
He said people want a change as their backs have been pushed against the wall. “So, we’ll not make any compromise on the question of an acceptable election.”
The BNP leader said the prime minister’s remark on talks in 2018 is nothing but a travesty of truth. “We also have the same question about the outcome of the talks. The prime minister, no matter how she came to power, committed in front of all and told the media that the government would not interfere with the election (in 2018) and police would no longer arrest, file fresh cases, and repress anyone until the election. Just three days later (of the talks), BNP leaders and activists across the country were forced to flee their homes in the face of repressions by the police.”
Fakhrul also recalled that his convoy was attacked when he went to the electoral area in his home district Thakurgaon. “Being the secretary general of BNP, my vehicle and the convoy came under attack when I first entered my area (during the last general election), and police just played the role of a silent spectator.”
He said the government also arrested many BNP leaders and activists by hatching different plots and setting fire to election offices and motorcycles, forcing the BNP leaders and activists to leave their houses and areas.
“Just before three days of the election, all my top election workers were arrested in Thakurgaon and the members of different intelligence agencies, including DGFI and NSI, took position all around my house there. This was my condition. Our 21 candidates were arrested and jailed before the election while many others could not come out of their homes,” the BNP leader said.
He also recalled that when they went to the election commission under the leadership of Dr Kamal Hossain with different allegations, the then chief election commission badly misbehaved with them, forcing the Gonoforum president to come out of the room thumping on the table.
“After these things, Sheikh Hasina questioned what was the result of the dialogue. The results you (PM) know as you know what have you done? So, when she says these things, she ultimately denies the truth, cheats on people and misleads people. She has been suffering from extreme arrogance, and going beyond the basic things of democracy,” Fakhrul said
Under such circumstances, the BNP leader said how the prime minister expects that the political parties will go to polls when she remains in the government. “Not only BNP, but all political parties are now saying that it is not possible to join polls under this government. Even, the CPB has also said that it will not go to the elections under this government.”
He urged the prime minister to quit handing over power to a caretaker government if she is brave and confident enough that people love her.
Fakhrul also said they will accept whoever comes to power in a credible election under a non-party caretaker government.
Referring to the prime minister's remarks that no pressure will work on her, he said it has manifested she has no responsibility towards the country and its people. “She has also no feeling about the future of the country and to make it a functional state.”
The BNP leader said different countries are mounting pressure on the government for a credible election as Awami League resorted to all sorts of vote rigging, vote fraud, and terrorism in the last two elections to stay in power illegally obstructing people from going to the polling stations.
Fakhrul said Awami League knows very well that they will not be able to retain power through a fair election as the country’s people are not with them.
“That’s why they are creating a situation so that no one from outside the country can interfere in the election of our country and no one can talk about it…the foreigners those who are coming here are saying that they want to see a fair election. They (govt) are assuring the foreigners that everything is fine here and the election commission is independent and can arrange a fair election. But what they (govt) are telling the foreigners are lies and the travesty of truth,” he observed.
Replying to a question, Fakhrul said the government can take steps for the formation of a caretaker government through discussions with the political parties.
He said they want a level-playing field and a healthy election atmosphere so that people can exercise their right to franchise. "Create the election atmosphere, only then you can say why we’re not going to polls.”
Fakhrul also said it is undeniable that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is one of the greatest sons of this country. “I feel bad the daughter of such a great man has pushed the entire nation towards destruction.”