Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2019-02-01 16:30:16 BdST
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has invited political parties that took part in the recent general polls at her official residence to exchange greetings.
In a letter addressed to the prime minister, the opposition alliance thanked her for the invite for Saturday's party, and mentioned their decision to not attend.
A team of three representatives went to the Ganabahaban on Friday noon and handed over the letter to Khurshid-Ul-Alam, protocol officer of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Oikya Front headed by Gono Forum chief Dr Kamal Hossain includes the BNP and other parties.
It faced a major defeat in the Dec 30 polls, and has since raised allegations of vote irregularities.
The ruling Awami League, headed by Sheikh Hasina, returned to government for the third straight term after securing an absolute majority.
Office chief Jahangir Alam Mintu, head of media wing Jahangir Alam Pradhan and member of coordinator committee Azmiri Begum consisted the delegation.
The letter signed by executive president of the Gono Forum Subrata Chowdhury expressed their thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“The issue of the prime minister’s invitation has been discussed in the steering committee meeting of the Jatiya Oikya Front on Thursday and it was decided unanimously not to join it,” the letter reads.
The Jatiya Oikya Front, that has been rejecting the election results, was likely to decline the invitation, the BNP leaders had suggested earlier. The contestants from the alliance who won eight seats have refused to take oath of office.
“The government formed through the farcical election on Dec 30 is not legal in any aspect. That election has stripped the country's people of their right to vote,” the letter said.
“On the other hand, thousands of leaders and activists of the Oikya Front are in jail. More leaders and activists have been arrested in fresh cases. It is not possible to attend the tea party under such circumstances.”
Prior to the 11th national election, Hasina called the political parties for a dialogue in last October as urged by the BNP, who had boycotted the 10th national election.
She provided the Oikya Front leaders including the BNP the opportunity to have three dialogues. The BNP decided to join the election following assurances from the prime minister.
But the BNP leaders complained of no implementation of those assurances.
“She never fulfilled the promises she made during the dialogue, said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a programme last week.
Oikya Front chief Kamal Hossain has been urging the prime minister to call for dialogue as he demanded fresh election rejecting the result of Dec 30 election.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader initially said the prime minister will call the political parties for dialogue again; but later he said there will be no dialogue but only a tea-party for political leaders.
"The prime minister will call for dialogue," HT Imam, adviser to the prime minister, then said contradicting his colleague.
The prime minister, during her national address, called for a ‘national solidarity’ and urged elected MPs from BNP to join the parliament.
There is no question on joining the parliament since the BNP has rejected the election results, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul had said in response.