Oli Ahmed, president of the Liberal Democratic Party -- a component of the BNP-led 20-party alliance -- yesterday unveiled a new platform “Jatiya Muktimancha” to realise their 18-point demand, including the release of Khaleda Zia.
Jatiya Ganatantrik Party and Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish have already joined the new platform.
Addressing a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital’s Paltan area, the former BNP leader said that while he will move forward with the new platform, the 20-party alliance will remain intact.
Replying to a query on whether the LDP will be with the alliance, he said Jatiya Muktimancha is not an alliance.
“Jatiya Muktimancha is the force of the Liberation War and we want to ensure liberty of the nation from the misrule by using this platform,” he added.
Explaining the forming of the platform, the former military official said, “We cannot remain inactive in the existing vulnerable economic and political situation.”
“Khaleda Zia should be freed and democracy should be restored,” he said, adding that they were establishing the new platform to achieve these targets.
“We hope that all the forces who believe in nationalism will be united to free the nation,” Oli also said.
Oli demanded mid-term election under a non-partisan interim government while presenting the 18-point demand.
“We will go to people with our demands. We will tell them clearly that we will not engage in any sort of destructive activities or assist anyone in carrying out criminal activities.”
The demands also include forming expert committees to investigate financial scams and capital market scams, forming a legal aid committee to provide assistance to repressed leaders and activists, and an annulment of the digital security act.
On October 26, 2006, Oli and 13 other BNP lawmakers left the party and floated the LDP. At that time, Oli blamed the BNP leadership for corruption and misrule.
Later, the LDP sided with the Awami League, but contested the 2008 general election separately and won a parliamentary seat. On April 18, 2012, Oli joined the then BNP-led alliance.
“JAMAAT IS PATRIOTIC FORCE”
Oli, who once very critical of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, termed Jamaat as a patriotic force.
“Jamaat of 71 and Jamaat of 2019 are not same. They brought many changes within themselves. They are also a patriotic force,” he said when asked if Jamaat would be in the platform.
Oli, who was a freedom fighter, claimed that Jamaat leaders were having discussion regarding joining the platform.
“We will welcome the patriotic forces who want to free the country but we will not accommodate any traitor.”
The Election Commission has scrapped the registration of Jamaat as a political party for its anti-liberation role in 1971. Jamaat leaders were involved in various war crimes during the country’s liberation war and some of the party’s top leaders have already been convicted.