Oikyafront open to further talks | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:15 AM, November 03, 2018

Oikyafront open to further talks

To place polls-time govt's outline to PM, continue agitation to realise demands

Even after the not-so-good experience on Thursday, the Jatiya Oikyafront wants to stay open to further talks though many of its leaders believe the government will not invite them to any more dialogue.

The alliance, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, will place an outline of the election-time government before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina if talks are held again before the announcement of national polls schedule. If not, the outline will be sent by post, insiders say.

At the same time, the components of Oikyafront have decided in principle that it will wage street agitations to force the government to meet its seven-point demand.

They are now waiting for the green signal from BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman, sources claimed after the party's standing committee meeting that discussed the issue yesterday.

A number of leaders think movement is now the only option left as the government has already “rejected” the demands, but the opposition alliance should wait until the schedule announcement.

“Why would we get the blame for the failure of talks process? We will wait until the announcement of the election schedule. If the government still does not make any effective move, we will take to the streets,” a senior leader of the Oikyafront told this correspondent, wishing anonymity.

The leaders say they did not get any positive response to their demands during the talks with Hasina-led 14-party coalition at the Gono Bhaban on Thursday, except for the assurance that there will be no bar to holding rallies.

So, the Oikyafront will stage a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Tuesday as part of its strategy to keep up pressure on the government.

Announcing the programme yesterday, senior BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said, “The dialogue initiative had generated hope among the public, but it has started fading away after the talks.”

Besides, Dr Kamal Hossain on Thursday said he did not find any “specific solution” in prime minister's speech while BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir added that his party was not satisfied with how the talks went.

“We have placed our demands but sitting on the driving wheel the government did not accept those,” Mahmudur Rahman Manna, convener of Nagorik Oikya, told The Daily Star.

The government did not show any positive attitude, rather it circulated the pictures of snacks and drinks to malign the Oikyafront leaders, he added.

The seven-point demand of the alliance includes a neutral polls-time government, dissolution of parliament before the election and deployment of army with magistracy power during the polls.  

Briefing reporters on the talks outcome, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said they would not go beyond the constitution.

BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, who did not take part in the meeting despite being on the list of delegates, said, “The result of talks is zero. They [the government and the ruling alliance] will not accept any demand of Jatiya Oikyafront.”

“So”, he added, “there is no alternative to waging a movement to ensure a free and fair election.”

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