The BNP may not get permission to hold a rally in Dhaka on Oct 25 to press for a non-party government to supervise the national election, Minister without Portfolio Suranjit Sengupta has hinted.
The ruling Awami League has also called a rally on the day in the capital.
Police had intervened in several of the BNP’s past rallies for allegedly instigating violence. Many of them had ended in chaos.
As per the Constitution, the general election has to be held within the last 90 days of the government’s tenure, and in this case, between Oct 25 and Jan 24.
Parliament will not stand dissolved during that period.
“I’d like to inform the opposition that the government will not permit rallies that would cause violence,” Suranjit said at an event in Dhaka on Sunday.
The BNP-led 18-Party opposition alliance has been holding street demonstrations, seeking a non-party government to oversee the polls since the 15th constitutional amendment scrapped the provision two years ago.
It has threatened to launch a one-point movement from Oct 25 seeking the government’s ouster if the caretaker administration provision is not restored.
At recent rallies, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has even threatened to thwart polls if held without a caretaker government.
Tension is escalating with counter statements from the ruling coalition leaders, and the fear of a political confrontation looms large.
Suranjit said: “Violent rallies are not permitted in any democracy, let alone in Bangladesh.
“You (the opposition) will not get the chance to create disorder or inflict violence with the Jamaat-e-Islami and Hifazat-e Islam on your side,” he said.
BNP’s key ally Jamaat had been accused of unleashing countrywide violence in the past.
The BNP had also backed Chittagong-based Hifazat whose activists had run wild in the city on May 5, damaging various public and private establishments.
“The government cannot permit rallies that would jeopardise people’s lives and property,” the minister said.
The BNP has sought permission to hold the rally from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
Suranjit urged the BNP chief to take part in the polls to keep the flow of democracy uninterrupted.
“We want a free, fair and neutral national election participated by all political parties.
“There’s still time, shun violence and attend Parliament session that will resume on Oct 23 with proposals, if you have any,” he said.
“I assure you, the government will consider your (the opposition’s) proposals if they are not anti-Constitutional,” said the minister.-bdnews24.com