The BNP secretary general, Khandaker Delwar Hossain, on Friday asked the Election Commission to hold the parliamentary polls in time and warned the chief election commissioner ‘will have to take the responsibility if anything else happens’.
‘I do not want to make comments on him [ATM Shamsul Huda]. He has triggered a hotchpotch by not inviting the mainstream BNP in dialogues for electoral reforms. He will have to take the responsibility if elections are delayed or cancelled’, he said.
‘People have no trust in his words. They do not understand what he says or who makes him say so and why’, Delwar said in his first interaction with reporters after returning home ending a month’s trip to Singapore and the United States for treatment.
‘The [interim] government’s sole constitutional duty is to help the Election Commission hold free and fair elections in 90 days. But the Election Commission has rolled out a roadmap which has no destination’, he said.
‘We have to accept the truth that the people are at the centre of all authority. The government has to realise that only political leadership can change the present situation’, he said.
Delwar came down hard on the government for failure to check the skyrocketing prices of food and other essentials which had triggered a ‘silent famine’. ‘I still recall the famine of 1943 and things seem to take that shape’, he said.
‘There is an acute shortage of food in the country. People are jobless and do not have money to buy food. If it is not a famine then what else it is?’ he said.
After a month-long private tour abroad, Delwar declined to make comments on current political issues saying he would give his views after consulting the party leaders.
On the government’s fresh move for holding dialogues with political parties and some BNP leaders’ remarks on it, Delwar said he would speak after discussions with the party leaders. But he disowned the remarks made by his party colleagues on the issue, saying, ‘I am the spokesperson for the party. Whatever they said [on the issue] were their individual opinions, not necessarily the party’s stance.’
About the unity move in the party, Delwar said, ‘It is the chairperson who has the authority to say anything about the persons expelled from the party. Others are still in the party and they can work from their respective positions.’
He thanked the people and the party leaders and activists who had prayed for his recovery. ‘I have almost recovered.’
Delwar, who is suffering from diabetes, heart ailment and respiratory and other disorders, underwent treatment in the United States and Singapore.