We’re not alone in this movement, democratic world with us: Fakhrul

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addressing a rally in Naya Paltan on 15 September
Tanvir Ahammed

Urging all to restore democracy in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “We are not alone in this movement. Democratic world is also with us.”

He said this while addressing a BNP rally protesting imprisonment of the party leaders, including the its chairperson Khaleda Zia, in ‘false cases’ on the International Democracy Day on Friday.

Fakhrul referred to the sentence and incarceration of BNP leaders in graft and civil cases including the conviction of Iqbal Hasan Mahmud and Amanullah Aman.

We must move forward braving shootings, attacks and everything if we want to free the country. There should not be any delay
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

“The youth must rise. Only chanting slogans will not do, you’ll have to come forward. We must move forward braving shootings, attacks and everything if we want to free the country. There should not be any delay. Now is the time to jump in.”

Fakhrul termed the prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s remark that "why is there a question on election?" as the joke of the year.

He said the joke of the year so far in Bangladesh is that the prime minister yesterday, Thursday, said rather despondently that despite conducting so good elections, she faces questions about the elections.

The prime minister in the concluding speech of 24th session of the parliament spoke on the election.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addresses a rally in Naya Paltan on 15 September, 2023
Tanvir Ahammed

“Why are questions being raised on democracy while the country is advancing economically. What is the meaning of questioning the election while we’re conducting fair elections?” the PM told the House.

Referring to that remark, Mirza Fakhrul said Sheikh Hasina and Awami League conduct good election - do even horses believe this? Even horses would laugh hearing this remark.

Pointing at the rickshaw pullers standing near the rally venue, Mirza Fakhrul said why these rickshaw puller brothers are standing here leaving their works? The only reason is they can no longer sustain the pressure of price hike. They can’t afford essential commodities, can't take their children to school and buy them clothes.

The prices of electricity, fertiliser have shot up abnormally, fuel prices have spiralled, health and education systems have been destroyed, people are dying of dengue but the ruling party doesn’t care as their only concern is to cling to power.

Fakhrul urged the government to step down and hand over power to a neutral government.

He said the ruling party doesn’t want to hand over power to a neutral government as it knows the party won’t even win 10 parliamentary seats if the people can cast their votes freely.

Fakhrul said the prime minister held a meeting with local government representatives on Thursday and asked them to inspire the voters to cast their votes.

He said a government of people must be established by toppling this government.

“We pledge on this democracy day that we won’t participate in any election under this government. There would be no election except for one under a neutral government,” Fakhrul added.

Presided over by Dhaka city south BNP convener Abdus Salam, the rally was also addressed by BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo, advisors Habibur Rahman Habib, Abul Khair Bhuiyan, joint secretaries general Syed Moazzem Hossain and Khairul Kabir.