BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday gave a 48-hour ultimatum to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to come up with a clear announcement of accepting opposition’s demand for restoring caretaker government system.
“Otherwise we will declare such programmes that you [PM] will have to flee away or quit power,” Khaleda warned while addressing a rally, called by the BNP-Jamaat-led 18-party opposition alliance, at the city’s Shapla Chattar.
The rally protested government’s alleged “failure” to properly rescue garments workers of collapsed Rana Plaza, release detained opposition leaders and restore caretaker government system.
Amid presence of thousands of opposition leaders and workers, many of them from Jamaat-Shibir, Khaleda termed prime minister’s Friday’s invitation to the opposition to sit for a dialogue as a “new drama”.
“The government used to lower its voice whenever it fell in danger. You [PM] have again started playing a new drama to divert people’s attention after the Savar tragedy–when country’s all people and workers are angry over the killing of garment labourers at Rana Plaza and when Alems [Islamic scholars] are staging movement against those speaking ill against our holy Prophet.”
Pointing to PM’s call for a dialogue, Khaleda said: “Now you [PM] are urging to sit for a dialogue, calling for photo session, calling to join parliament. Who knows [may be] you will invite [me] after some days for a cup of tea.”
Amid clappings by thousand of opposition leaders and activists, the former prime minister said, “But I am inviting her [PM] to a cup of tea at my house to discuss the form of caretaker government and how the next election will be held.”
At the same time, Khaleda also warned the government that it would face dire consequences if it fails to meet opposition’s demand for restoring CG system.
At the end of her 70-minute speech, the BNP chief asked the opposition leaders if they were ready to stay at the Shapla Chattar for 24 hours.
The crowd burst into cheers and chanted slogans supporting Khaleda’s proposal.
The BNP chief said, “You are ready to stay [at Shapla Chattar] but Hefajat has their earlier declared programme [here] tomorrow [today]. We are giving 48-hour time to the PM to come up with the announcement of accepting the demand of caretaker government.”
She then asked the audience to gather again if they are requested to do so.
“We will sit anywhere if the government refuses us permission at that time,” the BNP chief added.
“We have given you enough time.” she said referring to the prime minister. “Also, we will no longer tolerate insulting our Prophet.”