Quader bins BNP’s ‘supportive govt’ formula

DHAKA : Trashing the BNP’s demand for arranging the next general election under a ‘polls-time supportive government’, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader has said the parliamentary polls will be held as per the constitution, reports UNB.
“There’s nothing like ‘polls-time supportive government’ in any country of the world. So, why’ll it be there in Bangladesh? The election won’t be held under Sheikh Hasina…the Election Commission will arrange it,” he said in a recent interview with UNB.
According to the constitution, the incumbent government will facilitate the Election Commission (EC) to hold the general election, said Quader adding, “Even all the government agencies will work under the constitutional body at that time.”
Asked whether the election will be ‘acceptable’ if BNP does not take part, he said, “I do believe BNP will participate in the next polls. They (BNP) have already started working at the grassroots level as part of their election campaign.”
Citing the statement of BNP general secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir that the party will not join the next election if their demands are not met, Quader said Fakhrul made this comment to keep his party activists in mood.
“I myself would have said something like that of Fakhrul had I been in the opposition party,” Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said.
Replying to a question whether the next general will be participatory one, he said every political party has the right to contest any election. “But why should we force any party to join it?” he questioned.
It is the duty of BNP to contest the parliamentary polls as a big political party, said Quader mentioning that the current EC was constituted involving representatives suggested by BNP.
The ruling party general secretary said BNP is now in a vulnerable situation as there is no chain of command in the party. Asked whether the AL will fight the next general election under the banner of 14-party alliance, the veteran politician said the party will go for the next polls with the alliance partners as in previous elections.
Mentioning that Awami League never compromises with ideology, Quader said his party will not forge any political alliance with Hefajat-e-Islam.
“The government has just given the recognition to the degree of 14 lakh students of some 70,000 Qawmi madrasahs. It’s not logical to keep the Qawmi madrasah education system away from the mainstream one,” he said. He said there is no reason for the Jatiya Party to leave the alliance. “Anyway, there’s no last word in politics. It’s difficult to think what will happen ultimately,” he added.
About the preparation of Awami League for the next national election, Quader said although there are some problems in the party right now, they will take part in the next polls as a smarter, stronger and modern party by solving the problems before long.
The party has already conducted three or four surveys throughout the country to pick the best Awami League leaders from the grassroots level to contest the next election, Quader said.
“Our President (Sheikh Hasina) has decided not to nominate anyone who is not acceptable to people,” he added.