(BNP Communication) — BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said on Eid Day (June 26) the next national election must be held under a government that will facilitate the impartial voting along with the deployment of the armed forces so that a pro-people administration can come into office to end “public sufferings” and ensure good governance.

She also observed that people are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr this time without any feeling of festivity and zeal due to the government’s misrule, repression and failure to arrest the soaring prices of essentials commodities.

“Usually, Eid is celebrated amid huge festivity, but it’s completely missing this time all over the country. People are not in a joyous mood for various incidents took place in the country this year; skyrocketing prices of rice, including coarse ones, and other essentials, and hike in gas, power and water tariffs,” the BNP chief elaborated.

Begum Zia made these remarks while exchanging greetings with journalists at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre marking the Eid-ul-Fitr.

She alleged that the government had destroyed the country and all its institutions during its 10-year-rule through corruption and plunder.

“People now want a change (in power) and expect better services and governance as the Awami League has failed to deliver on all fronts, and it won’t be able to give people anything good in the future either,” the BNP chief said.

She said a famine-like situation is prevailing in the country, especially in flood-hit haor regions and affected hilly areas, for want of food and adequate government support.

“The government could have dropped food from helicopters for landslide-affected people in the remote areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. But they’re least bothered about people’s sufferings as they’re now busy siphoning off money they have made through corruption and looting,” she alleged.

Asserting that people want a credible, inclusive and competitive election in the country, the BNP chief said the election will not be fair and voters cannot go to polling stations if it is held under the Awami League and Sheikh Hasina.

Referring to the attack on the BNP secretary general’s motorcade on his way to Rangamati to visit landslide-hit areas, Begum Zia said, “Can you expect that a good election is possible under Sheikh Hasina even after such an attack on our leaders?”

She further said, “That’s why we’re demanding holding the election under a neutral and facilitator government to enable the Election Commission to act neutrally. Besides, the armed forces will have to be deployed. We think a fair election will be possible and voters will be able to go to the polling stations and cast their votes without any intimidation and obstruction if armed forces are present. People also want it.”

The BNP chairperson urged the Awami League government to quit to save the country and its people, and ensure a neutral election. “We’ll have nothing to say if you return to power through fair and neutral polls.”

She said all sectors in the country, including education and health, are in a dire condition as ruling party men have established their control on those. “People don’t get treatment and medicines from public hospitals.”

The former prime minister said though the government is spreading propaganda of carrying out huge development in the country, all the highways, except the Dhaka-Chittagong one, and all roads across the country are in a bad shape, causing much casualty over a few days.

She said the ruling party leaders and activists are getting richer while the common people are getting poorer. “Inequality is widening alarmingly. I came to know from newspapers that a good number of people who made huge amount of money through corruption had gone abroad for shopping while the common people had not been able to buy new dresses for celebrating Eid. The number of poor is also increasing.”

The BNP chief termed the budget for FY2018 the “worst”. “Even, their own MPs and ministers used abusive words against the finance minister who is an elderly person. Is only the finance minister responsible for this? He framed it as per the directives of a person (PM).”

She also criticised the government for imposing 15 percent VAT on the people, saying the common people are not in a position to bear it.

Earlier, the BNP chairperson exchanged Eid greetings with eminent citizens, people from all walks of life and foreign diplomats.

Diplomats from around 20 countries, including the USA, the UK and the EU, and representatives of different international bodies attended the program.

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Later, Begum Zia went to the graves of her late husband and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman and of her younger son Arafat Rahman and offered fateha there before returning home.