Prospects for an amicable solution to the stalemate over polls-time government remain dim, as the ruling Awami League yesterday once again ruled out a return to the caretaker system and the opposition BNP stuck to its demand for a non-partisan administration to hold the polls.
The AL advisory council, think-tank of the party, has advised party President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina not to consider any dialogue proposal from the BNP if it contradicts the constitutional provisions about holding of the national polls.
Meeting at the Gono Bhaban last night, the council, however, said a proposal in line with the constitution could be considered.
The BNP standing committee, on the other hand, has asked party Chairperson Khaleda Zia to give the government until the first week of September to restore the caretaker government system, scrapped in 2011.
The party’s highest policy-making body came up with the suggestion at a meeting at Khaleda’s Gulshan office last night.
At the meeting that lasted around four hours, the AL advisers asked Hasina to resolve intra-party feud at all levels, nominate deserving candidates for the next polls, start preparing election manifesto and admit and explain failures of the government.
They also recommended that the AL and its associated bodies project the government’s successes through billboards in upazilas and districts.
The meeting blasted Khaleda Zia for celebrating birthday on August 15, the national mourning day.
AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s Friday’s comment that there was no scope for talks with the BNP on any issue was reflected in the advisers’ meeting.
Hasina will meet today the central working committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, to firm up its strategies.
The BNP standing committee decided not to take up tough programmes like hartals and blockades as those might cause public support to go against the party.
It decided to step up party activities at the grassroots level and find out appropriate persons as candidates in the next polls, meeting sources told The Daily Star.
The nearly three-hour meeting also discussed the US ambassador’s talks with the opposition leader.
The main opposition party decided to take the movement for caretaker system to its peak in October when parliament is supposed to be dissolved.
However, some top BNP leaders pointed out that the grassroots now look forward to elections because they feel that the party is sure to bag majority seats even if the caretaker system is not restored.
They also believe it would be difficult for the government to rig elections in the face of enthusiasm at the grassroots, media alertness and the presence of observers.
Khaleda will meet the leaders of the BNP-led alliance today to reach a common ground for the movement.