Obaidul Quader says BNP must join next general polls for existence
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said if BNP does not participate in the next parliamentary elections, it will fall into a crisis of existence.
"They (BNP) must join the next general polls to sustain their existence. We also want to welcome a strong opposition in parliament. We want that the opposition has a stand," the road transport and bridges minister while talking to reporters at his secretariat office on Sunday afternoon.
Asked whether there would be an initiative to bring the BNP to the polls, Quader said: "We will ask them (BNP) to join the polls though it should not be said."
Joining the elections is the right of the BNP and it is not a matter of chance, he said.
"If the BNP does not exercise its rights, its existence will fall in crisis. And I do believe they (BNP) will not create such a situation," he added.
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants all the political parties to join the polls.
"We want to hold elections ensuring participation of all the political parties. It is ensured that there will be fair polls by using electronic voting machines (EVMs). The Election Commission will remain neutral," he said.
That is why, he said, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has no reason to get worried.
Responding to a statement of Fakhrul that the unelected government must quit power, the AL general secretary said it is old doggerel, while there are the members of BNP in the House too.
"The BNP has sent its members to parliament. Are they unelected?... Mr Fakfrul makes himself less important. If he (Fakhrul) remained in the House, he would have spoken strongly," he said.
About the national conference of the Awami League, Quader said AL President Sheikh Hasina has stated that the AL conference will be held on a regular basis.
The AL's existing committee will expire in December next and it is expected that the party's next conference will be held in the month of victory, he said.
The AL general secretary said the AL president has asked all the party men to get prepared for the upcoming elections and the conference.
She instructed to arrange the programme of the AL founding anniversary on June 23 and also directed to prepare an election manifesto by updating the existing one, he said.
The conferences of the AL's expired district and upazila committees must be held before its national conference, the AL general secretary said.