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BNP on Tuesday alleged that the Election Commission’s (EC’s) roadmap for the 11t parliamentary elections is part of the government’s blueprint to secure its path to stay in power again in its ‘old style’.

“The Election Commission has announced a roadmap for the next parliamentary elections ignoring the nation’s hopes and aspirations. Through it, the Commission has started implementing the blueprint to bring Awami League to power again in its old style,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He came up with the remarks at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office giving the party’s formal reaction to the EC’s election roadmap.

The BNP secretary general urged the government to hold talks with political parties to find out an acceptable way to hold the next election under a neutral administration as per people’s desire.

On Sunday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda unveiled a booklet of EC’s roadmap for the next general election. As per the roadmap, the commission will start dialogues with political parties and other stakeholders on July 31 next.

Fakhrul said the nation has got utterly frustrated over the EC’s roadmap as it has filed to create a level-playing field for all parties. “The Commission has failed to give its roadmap for ensuring a level-playing field. The Commission also demonstrated that it has no such will either.”

He said the nation expected that the EC will take steps for holding a neutral and credible election through talks. “Unfortunately, the Chief Election Commissioner through his irresponsible remark over ensuring a level-playing field has dashed people’s hopes.”

The BNP leader said it is the responsibility of the Commission to ensure a level-playing field for an inclusive election and ensure an environment so that voters can exercise their right to franchise.

Fakhrul said the nation has also got upset over the CEC’s comment that a neutral election is possible under the current government. “He reflected the views of the Prime Minister other ministers through his comment, though the reality is quite different.”

He said a fair and acceptable election is not possible under the current EC as it is becoming another Rakibuddin-style commission.

Accusing government of continuing its repressive acts and obstructing its opponents’ political activities like rallies and meetings, the BNP secretary general said human and political rights have been utterly violated in the country. “But, the CEC is completely silent over the matter.”

Asked whether their party will join the EC’s planned dialogue, Fakhrul parried the question saying BNP hopes the Commission will take steps for holding an impartial election through talks with political parties considering the reality.

He also called upon the government to reach an understanding over the nature of election-time supportive government through discussions with political parties shunning its obstinacy and arrogance in the interest of the country and its people.

BNP standing g committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said their party thinks the announcement of EC roadmap before settlement of the issue of election time government is a conspiracy. “We think the Commission is going ahead to implement the government’s an evil design.”

He called upon the EC to take steps for ensuring a level-playing field to make their roadmap a fruitful one.

Another BNP standing committee member Moudud said there has been a political crisis over the nature of government which will oversee the next polls. “So, it should be resolved first.”

Reacting to Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed’s comment that there is no scope for reaching any understanding with BNP beyond the constitution, he said, “It’s a political issue, not a constitutional one. So, there is no point of talking about the constitution.”

Moudud also said the constitution can be amended if there is a political negotiation.

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