BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday called upon the country's people to wake up more to restore their voting rights by ousting the Awami League government.

"The people of Bangladesh have woken up. We need to now wake up more to materialise the dreams of the Liberation War and build a truly people's Bangladesh for ensuring a beautiful future for our children," he said.

Speaking at a sit-in programme, the BNP leader also called upon people from all walks of life to join their ongoing simultaneous movement to force the present ‘autocratic’ government to quit, paving the way for establishing a pro-people government and parliament through an acceptable election.

BNP arranged the sit-in programme in front of its Nayapaltan central office as part of the simultaneous movement against the current government
Suvra Kanti Das

"Let us move towards that goal. We’ve to move forward uniting the people of Bangladesh to restore our voting rights and democracy. There's a good sign that the noted citizens of the country are coming forward to this end," he said.

BNP arranged the sit-in programme in front of its Nayapaltan central office as part of the simultaneous movement against the current government.

Other like-minded opposition parties, alliances and organisations also observed a similar programme in different areas of the capital and nine other divisions in the country to realise their 10-point demand including holding the next polls under a non-party neutral government.

BNP began the programme at Nayapaltan around 10:30am with the recitation of verses from the holy Quran. It was the second programme of the simultaneous movement after the mass procession by the 33 opposition parties on 30 December.

Earlier on 30 December, BNP and 32 other like-minded opposition parties staged a mass procession programme in different parts of the capital as the first programme of the simultaneous movement.

AL has become isolated from people 

Fakhrul said Awami League identifies itself as a political party. “We know that they are a very old familiar party. “But now they have completely lost their political existence.”

He said Awami league has also got isolated from people. “That's why they have to depend on the police and bureaucrats now to stay in power by force."

The BNP leader said all the opposition political parties have agreed to remove the current government for the restoration of democracy and people's right to vote. "They will make this movement successful by realising the 10-point demand."

He said the current government has destroyed all the state institutions. "That's why we’re talking about 27 points to reform the state."

Referring to media reports on Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan’s 14 houses in the USA, Fakhrul said an official of an autonomous organisation is building houses abroad by siphoning off hundreds of crores of taka abroad.

He alleged that people belonging to the ruling party are ruining the country’s economy by indulging in plundering and siphoning off huge money abroad.

The BNP leader alleged that the ruling party leaders have established a reign of plundering by establishing their control on all institutions, including the banks.

He said the current government’s main target is to restore one-party Baksal rule by snatching people’s all rights. “We won’t let the government do it. We’ll move forward together with people to ensure the fall of this regime.”

Fakhrul said many leaders and activists of their party have still been languishing in jail enduring unbearable suffering.

He demanded the government immediately release the party’s arrested central leaders, including Dhaka south city unit convener Abdus Salam, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, joint secretary general Khairul Kabir Khokon and publicity affairs secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anne.

Fakhrul alleged that the ruling party activists and law enforcers attacked their peaceful sit-in programmes in Faridpur and Mymensingh. “We strongly condemn and protest it."

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the government used to say BNP announces programmes to create chaos. "But we arranged 10 rallies and subsequent programmes peacefully."

He said they will also hold their all programmes in the days to come in the same way together with people to oust the government and implement their 27 points to reform the state.

He thanked the party leaders and activists for making the sit-in programme a success with their huge participation.

BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said this government must go as people have woken up against it.

“We don’t want to remove this regime by pushing it down. We want to ensure its fall through a credible election under a caretaker government,” he said.

Abbas said their party doesn’t want to resort to any violence as BNP believes in democracy and peaceful programmes. “The government is suffering from unnecessary panic. BNP does not want any chaos and unrest. We urge the government to refrain from provocative activities. If you do that then the consequences will not be good. The days of being in power by force are over.”

He also called upon the government to accept their party’s 10-point demand and hand over power to a non-party neutral government for arranging a free and fair election.

Thousands of leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies joined the sit-in programme, disrupting traffic movement in the area.

Besides, Ganatantra Mancha observed a similar programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club while the 12-Party Alliance near Bijoy Nagar Water Tank, Jatiyatabadi Samamona Jote at Purana Paltan, LDP at FDC Crossing and Ganatantrik Bam Oikya in the east side of the Jatiya Press Club and Gonoforum (Montu) at Arambagh.