'Same old, routine speech'
The BNP yesterday criticized Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent address to the nation, saying it lacked directions as to how the country's “deep political crisis” will be resolved.
“She [Hasina] unfortunately gave an old and routine speech,” which frustrated the nation, said BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
People had expected that the speech would have guidelines on how to end the “ongoing political stalemate, he said at a press conference at the party chief's Gulshan office organised to respond to PM's Tuesday's speech.
Hasina addressed the nation, marking the completion of her two years at the helm of the second successive government.
The incumbent government has banished democracy from the country, Fakhrul said, adding repression of opposition supporters and those, who did not agree with government activities, was unprecedented in the last two years.
The BNP leader claimed that 440 people had been subjected to political killing and 267 others to forced disappearance. Moreover, some 337 were maimed in this period, he said.
As many as 21,083 political cases have been filed against more than four lakh people and over 17 thousands are languishing in jail after their arrest, Fakhrul said.
“The government's main target is to hold on to power by snatching people's rights.”
The BNP leader also accused the government of politicising all the democratic institutions to establish one-party rule.
The January 5, 2014 national polls were farcical, through which the Awami League stayed in power for the 2nd time, he said.
Turning to PM's speech, Fakhrul said Hasina had not said anything about how the electoral system would be freed from party influence.
He added that Hasina's statement that the media in Bangladesh was enjoying complete freedom during her government was untrue and unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the ruling Awami League's Joint General Secretary Mahabubul Alam Hanif said the BNP might be declared illegal if people of the country wanted so.
"People are the source of all power,” he said at a press conference at the party president's Dhanmondi office in the capital.
The press briefing was organised yesterday to counter remarks made by the BNP's acting secretary general.
Hanif alleged that the opposition party was trying to mislead people when they were marching towards development and hoping for a better