BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday said the opposition would not allow the next general election to be held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remaining head of the polls-time government.
“We will neither go to election under Hasina nor allow any election under her leadership,” she said while addressing a convention of professionals in the capital.
The election would not be fair if held under the incumbent political government, alleged the leader of the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance.
“If we go to the election, BNP would be affected.”
She strongly criticised the Awami League for not accepting former chief justice KM Hasan as chief of caretaker government in 2007.
“If you don’t accept the election under KM Hasan, then why we would accept election under Hasina,” said Khaleda in the convention.
After a spell of uncertainty due to cancellation of booking, pro-BNP professionals finally began their convention at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC) this afternoon and Khaleda arrived at the venue around 4:15pm.
Amid a ban on political gatherings, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) allowed the organisers — Bangladesh Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad — to hold the programme on certain conditions which include refraining from making provocative speeches and bringing out processions.
The programme began around 2:00pm.
The conditions the organisers have to comply with include: no provocative comments can be made; the participants will have to remain inside venue; no processions can be brought out in or around the BICC premises; and the programme should be wrapped up by evening, according to the Biplob Kumar Sarker, deputy commissioner of Tejgaon zone of police.
Earlier in the morning today, the BICC authorities sent a letter to the Peshajibi Parishad conveying their decision on cancelling the booking, Bangla daily Prothom Alo quoted Ruhul Amin Gazi, convener of the programme, as saying.
Biplob Kumar said the cancellation came due to a DMP ban meetings, rallies, human chains, demonstrations, sit-ins and processions in the capital which came into effect at 6:00am today.
Khaleda’s decision to join the convention came few hours after the announcement of the DMP ban.
The DMP slapped the ban five days ahead of an anti-government rally organised by the BNP-led 18-party opposition combine to press home its demand of restoration of the caretaker government system.