BNP not to join election keeping Khaleda in jail

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Dhaka: BNP senior leaders on Monday said their party will not join the next general election keeping their chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail.

Speaking at a token hunger strike programme, they also urged the political parties and the people of all walks of life to get united to ‘restore’ democracy and force the government to hold the next polls under a non-party administration.

As part of its countrywide programmes,  the party observed a seven-hour token hunger strike at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in the city protesting the Supreme Court order upholding its stay on bail granted by the High Court to Khaleda Zia in a murder case filed in Cumilla.
Leaders, activists of BNP and its associate bodies and 20-praty alliance and some pro-BNP professionals joined the programme that began at 9am.

Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury ended the hunger strike by feeding senior BNP leaders juice around4:10pm.

On July 2, the Supreme Court upheld its previous order staying the High Court order that had granted bail to Khaleda in a murder case filed over the arson attack in Cumilla on February 3, 2015.

Speaking at the programme, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “Through their speeches over the long time at the programme, our party leaders clearly said no election will be allowed to be held in the country keeping Khaleda Zia in jail.”

He further said, “So, we demand the government release our leader from jail and ensure her better treatment.”

The BNP leader also demanded the government reconstitute the Election Commission, dissolve parliament, deploy army before the national election to create a level-playing field and proper polls atmosphere.

Or else, he warned, the election will not be allowed to be held in the country.

Fakhrul alleged that the government put Khaleda behind bars to keep her and BNP way from politics and the national election.

The BNP leader called upon all the political parties and professionals to come forward to forge a national unity to free the country from the current ‘autocratic government’s’ rule’ restore democracy and people’s rights.

BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Dhaka University former VC Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, Dr Zafrullah and leaders of the 20-party alliance and BNP, among others, spoke at the programme.

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