BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said his party would consider joining a fresh dialogue with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina only after knowing about its agenda.
“I don't know why the dialogue is being called for. But if it turns out to be like the last one [held before the national election], it would not be meaningful,” he told journalists at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (RM) in the city.
Asked about the BNP's agenda for the dialogue, Fakhrul said, “We have only one agenda -- cancellation of the December 30 election.”
He said the BNP also wants a fresh election be held under a neutral caretaker government and establishment of people's rights.
Fakhrul along with Jatiya Oikyafront leaders Kader Siddique, Subrata Chowdhury, Mostafa Mohsin Montu and ASM Abdur Rab visited Sylhet as part of the alliance's movement demanding a fresh national election.
On Sunday, Oikyafront leader Dr Kamal Hossain appreciated Hasina's decision to hold fresh talks with political parties, saying it was a positive step, reported UNB.
“I call upon the government to hold talks with political parties to find an effective way for holding a fresh credible election. Now the prime minister herself has decided to hold the talks. I hail the decision. It's certainly a positive initiative.”
Dr Kamal said the alliance leaders would sit after receiving the invitation to decide on what might be discussed at the talks.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday said Hasina would hold a fresh dialogue with all political parties who had joined talks at the Gono Bhaban before the December 30 polls.
He said the PM would send letters to Oikyafront, Juktafront, 14-party alliance, Jatiya Party and others inviting them to take part in the talks.
Earlier in November, Hasina held dialogues with political leaders on different major issues, including the nature of the polls-time government and dissolution of parliament before the announcement of the polls schedule, among others.
Before the announcement of the polls schedule, Jatiya Oikyafront leaders, led by Gonoforum President Dr Kamal, sat with the PM at the Gono Bhaban on November 1 and 7.
Reaching Sylhet around noon yesterday, the Oikyafront leaders offered prayers at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (RM). They later visited the house of Balaganj upazila Chhatra Dal Secretary General Sayem Ahmed who was killed in a clash with police on the polling day.
Talking to journalists at the shrine, Fakhrul termed the national election “a black chapter in the country's history as people's constitutional rights were robbed”.
Asked whether his party would contest the coming upazila elections, the BNP leader said, “The whole world has seen how incompetent the Election Commission is. They don't have the capability to hold an election fairly. So no question arises about taking part in the upazila elections under this commission.”
Enquired if there was any problem in the Oikyafront, Fakhrul said, “There is no problem in the Jatiya Oikyafront at all. But every political party is a separate organisation and each of them has distinct features.”
About Dr Kamal's call on parting company with Jamaat-e-Islami, he said it was Gonoforum's opinion, not of the Oikyafront's. “We have not yet discussed the matter [in the Oikyafront], but we will discuss it in our party.”
Later in the day, the Oikyafront leaders left Sylhet for Dhaka.