BNP lacks courage, capability to wage movement: Quader

The ruling party general secretary made the remarks at a time when senior leaders of his party have vowed to bar the BNP from celebrating the National Revolution and Solidarity Day on 7 November.

“BNP can only make political statements and arrange press briefings, it cannot even hold a rally with the participation of 400-500 people,” Obaidul, also the road transport and bridges minister, said while talking to UNB.

UNB report adds: Replying to a query, Quader said there is no plan to hold any dialogue with BNP over forming the EC right now. “But, if needed, prime minister Sheikh Hasina will hold a dialogue for the sake of the country.”

About BNP’s joining the next election, he said they will hopefully not make the same mistake as they did last time. “I firmly believe BNP will take part in the next election.”

Dismissing BNP’s allegation that the current government has been autocratic in ruling the country as it is obstructing BNP from holding rallies and also filing cases against Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman, Quader asked whether BNP has any ability to hold a rally.

Citing the past experience, Quader said, “When BNP was in power, we [AL] couldn’t arrange any rally in front of our party office. Even we couldn’t hold any programme at Sector 23 of Dhanmondi.”

Asked about the cases filed against the BNP leaders, the minister said cases are also being filed against the ruling party MPs and politicians.

He claimed that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has been given the liberty to carry out drives against corruption.

Asked whether there is any plan to ban Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, the minister said court will take the decision about it as per the existing law of the land.

About the next general election, Quader said it will be held as per the constitution like the 10th parliamentary election in 2014. A search committee will work to form an election commission which will hold the next general election in a free and fair manner, he added.

Asked whether the ruling party will take any steps to encourage BNP to take part in the next general election, Quader said: “It’s the democratic right of BNP to participate in the election.”

Replying to a query about the preparation of AL for the next parliamentary elections, Quader said AL has already started the preparations following the directive of the party chief, Sheikh Hasina.

Party’s senior leaders also asked the leaders and activists of the associate bodies to take preparations by making the party more strong, he said.