AL urges BNP to call off hartal

AL urges BNP to call off hartal

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Urging BNP to call its 60-hour countrywide strike off, Awami League presidium member Mohammad Nasim on Friday said the government wants a fair election with the participation of all parties. “It’s not Awami League but Khaleda Zia’s BNP that held a unilateral election,” the AL leader told a press conference in reaction to Khaleda Zia’s speech at Suhrawardy Udyan. The press conference was held at AL President’s Dhanmondi office immediately after Khaloeda’s address to the mammoth rally organised by the BNP-led 18-party alliance demanding a nonpartisan election cabinet. Terming her speech ‘illogical, meaningless and offensive, Nasim urged Khaleda Zia to come to the path of polls leaving that of confrontation and there is no alternative to it. “If you (Khaleda) have confidence in people, we’ll have to come to the path of election,” he said. About the 60-hour hartal from Sunday as announced by Khaleda Zia at the 18-party alliance rally, the AL leader said, “Shun the politics of hartal. Participate in the election in line with the Constitution calling off the hartal. Don’t cause sufferings to people anymore.” He urged Khaleda Zia not to harm public life and property anymore alleging that she unleashed extensive violence in the country using Jamaat men over the last five years. “We don’t want to pursue the politics of intolerance.” On Khaleda’s “threat” to government staff, including law enforcers, Nasim said, “They (govt staff) will carry out the directions of the government of the people. Turning to Khaleda’s remark that the legitimacy of this government will expire on October 27, he said an elected government can never be illegal. Nasim, also a former home minister, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is there on the path of peace while Khaleda on the way of confrontation. Ruling AL joint general secretaries Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif and Dipu Moni, among others, were present at the press conference. Earlier, BNP chairperson and opposition leader Khaleda Zia at the mammoth rally at historic Suhrawardy Udyan called a 60-hour countrywide non-stop strike from 27th October 6am to 29th October 6pm unless the AL-led government initiates a dialogue for the formation of a non-party election-time cabinet by the time. – UNB

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