Bangladesh opposition demands fresh polls

Dhaka, Jan 20: Bangladesh’s opposition Monday demanded fresh parliament polls under a non-party caretaker government.

“Arrange fresh polls at the earliest under a non-party neutral government,” Xinhua quoted former prime minister Khaleda Zia as saying while addressing a public rally in Dhaka’s lush-green Suhrawardy Udyan Monday evening.

Khaleda, chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), also urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government for an immediate dialogue to end the impasse over the mode of the election-time government.

“This government is a scandalous government. It’s now trying to stay in power by using force,” she alleged while addressing the rally, the first since the formation of Hasina’s new cabinet following the Jan 5 parliament elections.

“But no government can stay in power this way for long,” Khaleda added.

Some 21 parties, including the BNP, boycotted the parliament elections as Hasina did not heed their demand for a non-party caretaker government to hold the polls.

Khaleda has again termed the present government “illegal”.

Hasina formed her new cabinet taking the oath of office Jan 12 for the second consecutive term after the controversial parliament polls.

Addressing a rally Monday in Satkhira district, 240 km southwest of capital Dhaka, Hasina said Khaleda Zia has to pay for the mistake she did by boycotting the Jan 5 national elections.

Hasina also warned she would act tougher against the post-poll troublemakers.

IANS