The opposition alliance -- Jatiya Oikyafront -- cannot last as ties between communal and non-communal forces cannot continue, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said yesterday.
“Elements of split are there [within the Oikyafront], so it cannot exist,” he said, adding, “We spotted the splitting factors in the Oikyfront from the beginning.”
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, was talking to journalists at Suhrawardy Udyan after overseeing the preparation of today's grand rally of the party celebrating its landslide victory in the December 30 election.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to attend the rally titled “Bijoy Utsab” around 2:30pm.
“We didn't call the BNP to participate in the parliamentary election. We will not ask them to join the upazila parishad polls,” the AL general secretary said.
He said this in reply to a question whether the ruling party would take any step to bring the BNP in the upcoming upazila election to be held in March.
If the BNP stresses the need for democracy, it will join the upazila polls like it took part in the parliamentary polls, Obaidul said.
He once again said the PM would hold a views-exchange meeting with political parties, but no dialogue would take place.
On January 12, Quader termed the opposition's demand for a dialogue “ridiculous” and said there was no need to hold talks. The following day, he said the PM would hold a dialogue with political parties after Hasina, at an AL Central Working Committee meeting, hinted at holding such talks.
He again changed his position on January 13 and said the PM would invite parties only to exchange post-election greetings with them, and would not hold any dialogue.
PM's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam on January 15, however, said the PM would invite all political parties for “talks”.
Quader said today's AL rally would be the “biggest one in recent memory”. People from across the country would throng the rally venue.
From the rally, the PM will reiterate her government's firm stance against corruption, terrorism and drugs, Quader told reporters at the party president's Dhanmondi office earlier in the day.
She will also call upon the party men not to get involved in those types of activities and warn them against misusing power, he added.
The AL, led by Hasina, formed the government for a third consecutive term, as the AL-led grand alliance secured 288 out of the 299 seats in the national election. The AL itself bagged 257 seats. New lawmakers, except those elected with the BNP and the Oikyafront tickets, took oath on January 3 and the new cabinet was sworn in on January 7.