Khaleda, Tarique disqualified for polls as per laws: Quader


Dhaka, Sept 15: Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday said as per the existing laws, BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and its acting vice-chairman Tarique Rahman are not qualified for contesting in the next parliamentary elections.

“BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia was convicted for corruption while Mirza Fakhrul claims that BNP is well-organised under her leadership. Tarique Rahman is the blessed son of graft and a fugitive convicted,” he told a press
briefing at his official residence here.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said Tarique fled away the country on undertaking that he would never do politics.

“So…how would a convicted fugitive become the BNP leaders?” he questioned.

Responding to a statement of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the AL general secretary said in fact the BNP, not the Awami League, is recognised as a terrorist party at home and abroad.

A Canadian court also recognised the BNP as a terrorist party, he added.

Mentioning that the AL is an organisation of commoners and a resort to the people’s trust, Quader said the stance of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government and the AL is very strong against terrorism and communal forces.

He said as the BNP is involved in terrorism, it is isolated from people, resulting failure in movement and elections.

Replying to the allegations of BNP leaders that the government does not want a competitive election, the AL general secretary said, “The BNP is actually afraid of polls.”

Noting that the BNP leaders fear the Sheikh Hasina’s popularity, he said the BNP is in dilemma to vie elections because of the fear of defeat.

Quader said the Awami League never wants to score goals on an empty field as it wants competitive elections.

The government believes in participatory elections involving all political parties, he said, adding that joining elections is the political right of all parties but BNP is afraid of defeat.

So, he said, the BNP leaders do not want to participate in the elections.

About the BNP leaders’ allegations over the Election Commission (EC), the AL general secretary said the BNP wants to make the Commission questionable and continues its ill-efforts to do so.

Pointing to the BNP leaders, he questioned: “Did they (BNP) take opinion of anyone in constituting the Commission. Did they hold any dialogue with any political party?”

Quader mentioned that the Sadek Ali and Aziz-mark ECs were formed as per the instructions of the then prime minister Khaleda Zia.

He said the BNP tried to influence the elections enlisting 1.25 crore fake voters and appointed party cadres to the EC.

“Did the BNP forget this?” the AL general secretary questioned.