The government is planning to amend the Representation of the People Order (RPO) to remove Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman from the party's leadership and make them disqualified for elections, BNP alleged yesterday.
“The government is hatching a deep-rooted conspiracy to remove Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman from the party's leadership. It is trying to add a similar article to the RPO which the BNP revoked from its party charter,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Addressing a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office, Fakhrul called upon the government to shun this path for the sake of holding the next general election under a non-party neutral administration.
“Arrange the next general election under a non-party neutral government returning to the path of democracy,” he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday in parliament made some “bizarre, fictitious and meaningless” comments against Khaleda for scrapping section seven of the party charter, Fakhrul said.
"The premier's remarks against our party chief in this regard were nothing but propaganda. It is also a part of a deep-rooted conspiracy," said Fakhrul, blaming the government for “destroying the country's democracy”.
The section seven of the party's charter was amended at the sixth national council held on March 19, 2016, and it was later submitted to the Election Commission, he added.
BNP TO HOLD DEMO
The BNP will demonstrate across the country, including the capital, on Friday, demanding release of party chief Khaleda from jail and better treatment for her.
“We hope the authorities concerned will take necessary steps to allow us to exercise our democratic rights,” Fakhrul said.
Fakhrul said the programme would be held at all district and upazila headquarters on that day, which would also be meant for registering the party's protest against “the government's inhuman attitude towards Khaleda”.
As part of the protest, the BNP will stage a demonstration in front of its Nayapaltan central office around 3:00pm on the day.
Khaleda's condition is deteriorating gradually, but the government is not allowing her to receive treatment at a specialised hospital of her choice, said Fakhrul, warning that the government would be held responsible if anything bad happened to her.
On February 8, a special Dhaka court convicted Khaleda and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
In another development, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), dominated by pro-BNP lawyers, yesterday once again demanded that the government send Khaleda to United Hospital for treatment.
“Khaleda Zia was the prime minister of the country three times, and she is the chairperson of the largest democratic political party, BNP. The government wants to push her to a slow death by keeping her in confinement for a long period of time, which is very unfortunate and condemnable,” said SCBA President Zainul Abedin.
He was speaking at a press conference at the SCBA auditorium in Dhaka yesterday afternoon.
“Khaleda Zia has been groaning in her bed for some days for being ill. On the one side, she is not being provided with treatment; on the other side, no-one is being allowed to meet her. Yesterday [Saturday], her elder sister was allowed to enter the jail to meet her, but she [Khaleda's sister] could not meet her. It means that Khaleda is so sick that she cannot get up from bed,” the SCBA president said.
Zainul said Khaleda earlier suffered a mild stroke.
“Then we had demanded that the government send her to United Hospital for her treatment. But the government has held her in confinement without giving her treatment,” he said.
Zainul said Khaleda got bail from the apex court in the case she had been convicted. But the government was making her confinement longer by showing her arrested in political cases one after another, he alleged.