'BNP will not go to polls unless demands are met'
Saturday, 21 June 2008


A senior BNP figure said Thursday the party would not go to polls unless certain demands were met, as around 140 former BNP lawmakers demanded the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and asked that her two sons be sent abroad for better medical treatment.

BNP vice president Sarwari Rahman, on behalf of the ex-lawmakers, pressed the demands at a press conference at Khandaker Delwar Hossain's NAM flat.

"The BNP will not take part in the elections without the party chairperson and will not accept the local government elections ahead of parliamentary elections," Sarwari said.

BNP joint secretary general Selima Rahman read out the written statement, which questioned the neutrality of the caretaker government over the matter of sending Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Coco abroad.

"The party expected that the government would release Tarique and Coco the way it did Awami League president Sheikh Hasina," the statement said.

"But the government did not do so. We condemn the government's two-faced policy."

The ex-lawmakers claimed their leader and her two sons were deprived of citizens rights being prey to malign influence from domestic and foreign quarters.

Demanding the leader's unconditional release, they said: "If anything happens to harm Khaleda and her two sons due to the government's negligence, callousness or any wrong decision, the government will have to take the responsibility on its shoulder," the statement said.

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