BNP says leaking the Khaleda-Hasina phone conversation was a ‘clear violation’ of the Information and Communication Technology Act.
“This violates Section 63 of the ICT Act,“ said BNP Standing Committee member Moudud Ahmed on Thursday.
“According to that section recording a conversation like this is not at all legal and totally unethical unless both side consent to its release.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina telephoned the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Saturday after she threatened to enforce a 60-hour strike if the government did not propose a dialogue with the Opposition.
BNP has been on a long campaign for election under non-party government ever since the 15th amendment to the Constitution scrapped the caretaker provision.
The two main leaders of Bangladesh were involved in a verbal duel during the conversation that lasted for 37 minutes.
The phone conversation between the arch rivals created ripples across the country.
Soon after the conversation went viral on the Internet and raised the hackles with the BNP clearly upset over the leak..
BNP spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir blamed the government for making the conversation public but Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu denied the allegation.
The Prime Minister, however, said she swallowed insults for the sake of the nation and that the people of Bangladesh should hear the entire conversation.
“I believe this is illegal. And if we consider the conversation a debate I believe Khaleda Zia was able to win in many points,” said Moudud speaking at a discussion on Thursday.
The plan did not work out for those who ‘advised for the conversation to be made public’ claimed the BNP leader. “It only increased Khaleda Zia’s popularity”.
According to Moudud, it was evident from the conversation, that the Prime Minister called just for ‘show’, not to invite the Opposition Leader to dialogue.
“I heard the Opposition leader’s red telephone was fixed after their conversation. But a directory was not given. Then who will she speak to with that phone?”
About the Prime Minister’s dialogue, he said, “The Leader of the Opposition did not refuse the invitation. The door to dialogue is still open.”
He, however, maintained it was the government who should initiate the process.
“We hope the Prime Minister will fix a date and invite the Opposition Leader. We will keep that invitation.”
The BNP leader said his party will take to the streets if the crisis was not cleared through a dialogue.
Moudud also criticised the amendments to the Representation of the People Act (RPO), which he alleged the government made for ‘a one-sided election’.
The requirement for nominees to have minimum three months’ membership in a party to run for Parliament has been removed.
“The ruling party will offer nominations to people with black money and discriminate against the good leaders of the party,” said Moudud.
“They don’t want politics to be in the politicians. They are making way for corrupt and people without commitment to politics.” –bdnews24.com