2254Published on November 5, 2018
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance and Jatiya Party-led United National Alliance (UNA) have agreed to participate in the next elections as per the constitution.
“We’ve agreed to join the next elections according to the constitution and law of the country,” Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters on Monday at Ganabhaban emerging from a dialogue between the two alliances.
The Awami League general secretary said a positive and constructive discussion took place in a very friendly environment where the two sides also reached a consensus to contest the polls and form the government together.
“We’ve agreed that the 14-party and the Grand Alliance will fight elections and constitute government together,” he said.
Replying to question that what will be there stance if BNP boycotts elections, Quader said: “There will be an equation in the alliance on the basis of political polarisation.”
About the seat sharing among the Grand Alliance, the AL general secretary said the issue is yet to be finalised. “The issue is yet to be finalized with the components of the 14-party and the Jatiya Party,” he said, adding that it will be finalized through a small committee.
About a question regarding the BNP secretary general’s threat for waging movement, Quader said the government is not worried at all in their threat.
“If the BNP thinks that through the threat and creating pressure in the name of movement they can deviate the government from constitution and law, they are living in fool’s paradise,” he said.
The AL general secretary said: “We know how much their strength … the BNP leaders like Mirza Fakhrul have been giving threat for waging movement for last 10 years. But we didn’t see them on the streets for 10 minutes in the last 10 years.”
Quader said three days are remaining for declaration of poll schedule. “Within this time, they will create a cyclone from the Bay of Bengal and jolt the street, the people of Bangladesh don’t believe it,” he added.
Replying to a question on Kader Siddiqui’s comment that Dr Kamal Hossain will win in the next polls even in Tungipara, Quader said the history does not say it.
“We cannot say anything about Dr Kamal Hossain as dialogue is going on with them … he was elected parliament member for a single time and that was uncontested,” he said.
In this connection, the AL general secretary requested the journalists not to twist the issue unnecessarily as they will come to the dialogue again.
“If they speak hard in the second phase of dialogue, we will listen to their words and there is no scope for becoming impatience by us,” he said.
Earlier, Jatiya Party Co-Chairman G M Quader echoed the comments of Obaidul Quader about the next election, saying that the two sides agreed to contest the polls unitedly and upholding the constitution.
He said the discussion between the two alliances was held in a very cordial environment where they exchanged views on present political situation and the next polls.
“We may participate in the polls in the way we joined elections together previous times by maintaining good relations,” G M Quader said.
About the issue on seat sharing, the Jatiya Party senior leader said no specific discussion was held in this regard.
“But the Awami League has assured us that they will consider the seats as much as possible through discussion,” he said, adding it would be finalized after discussion between the two sides later in a small group.
GM Quader said that the Jatiya Party will nominate candidates in all the constituencies if BNP does not come to the polls.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her introductory speech expressed her firm optimism that the country was heading towards a meaningful election to continue the development spree in the coming years.
“Exercising franchise is a democratic right of the people and they will apply it in a free, fair and impartial manner in the next elections, “she said, adding through this meaningful poll the country’s development spree will continue.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s tremendous development over 10 years, the prime minister said Jatiya Party was beside the government’s journey towards development and “we thank for the cooperation that we received from the party”.
Mentioning that her aim is to develop the country, the Awami League president stressed the need for keeping up the development works that her government initiated.
The prime minister also recalled Bangabandhu’s outstanding contributions to Bangladesh’s development.
“Bangladesh was turned into a least developed country by Bangabandhu and following his footsteps, we graduated it as a developing country,” she added.
The dialogue between the two alliances kicked off at 7.15 pm at the Banquet Hall of Ganabhaban.
Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina led a 23-member delegation of the 14-party alliance at the dialogue, while a 32-member UNA team was led by Jatiya Party and UNA Chairman HM Ershad.
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and Senior Co-Chairman and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Begum Raushan Ershad greeted the premier by presenting a bouquet when she entered the Banquet Hall.