Vol. 5 Num 682 Sun. April 30, 2006  
Front Page

14-party rejects BNP letter
Threatens to resist polls without reforms

The Awami League-led 14-party opposition line-up yesterday formally rejected the letter of ruling BNP nominating leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) for discussing the reform agenda.

The opposition combine vowed to realise reforms in the caretaker government system, Election Commission and electoral laws through mass movements to ensure a free, fair and neutral election. It also threatened to resist any election in the country without these reforms.

"The letter was nothing but a farce with the countrymen," 14-party Coordinator Abdul Jalil yesterday told newsmen after a meeting of the opposition alliance at his residence in the capital.

"This letter is not acceptable from any perspective as they [the BNP] have included war criminals, patrons of militants and anti-Liberation War forces in the committee," the Awami League (AL) general secretary said. The opposition will respond to the BNP letter soon, he said.

BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan on Friday sent the fourth letter to Jalil naming BNP standing committee members Dr Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain and Khandakar Delwar Hossain, Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, IOJ leader Mufti Fazlul Huq Amini and Bangladesh Jatiya Party leader M Saifur Rahman as representatives of the ruling four-party coalition in the talks.

Jalil said, "Sitting with them means sitting with Bangla Bhai and Shaekh Abdur Rahman and inspire militancy." Rejecting Bhuiyan's letter, he said it proves that the government is not sincere about implementing the reform agenda.

Asked if the possibility of the dialogue has been finished, Jalil said it depends on the government.

Chaired by AL Presidium Member Abdur Razzak, the meeting was attended by Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Motia Chowdhury, Obaidul Quader, Rashed Khan Menon, Hasanul Haque Inu, Dilip Barua, Bimal Biswas, MA Gani, Mainuddin Khan Badal and Enamul Haque, among others.

Earlier at a discussion yesterday with the senior party leaders, Leader of the Opposition and AL President Sheikh Hasina severely criticised the government for such nomination.

The opposition had suggested holding the dialogue only between the AL and BNP to avoid "controversy".

Fourteen-party opposition camp holds a meeting at AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil's Gulshan home yesterday. The meeting decided to reject the dialogue team nominated by the ruling alliance on electoral reforms. PHOTO: STAR