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AL leaders paying tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his grave in Gopalganj’s Tungiparha, yesterday

Polls boycott will ruin BNP: Ashraf

The BNP’s very existence will be in crisis if the party boycotts the next polls like it did in the 10th general election, says Syed Ashraful Islam. The Awami League general secretary said this on Saturday, a day after he had maintained that the 11th parliamentary polls too would be held under the incumbent government.  Ashraf said, “Boycotting election is no more effective in politics. The BNP won’t exist if it stays away from the election again.”

Several hours earlier, the BNP, which has been demanding for a snap election, had expressed frustration over Syed Ashraf’s Friday remarks.  The party’s acting spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon again urged the ruling party to hold talks for conducting polls under a ‘neutral’ government. The BNP and its allies had boycotted the 2014 parliamentary elections, demanding polling under a caretaker government, leading the Awami League-led coalition to a landslide win.

The Khaleda Zia-led party and its allies have been on the streets since the government revoked the caretaker government provision through a constitutional amendment in 2011. Regarding last year’s election, which many dubbed controversial as the BNP stayed away from it, Syed Ashraf on Saturday said, “This will remain a political issue until the next election takes place.”

“We’ve always said the next polls will be held in line with the Constitution. We hope everyone will participate in that election.” “Boycotting the election won’t be beneficial. You should take part in it even if you know that you have no chance of winning,” said the public administration minister addressing the major political parties of the country. In this context, he mentioned that the Awami League had participated in several elections held under military regimes in the past.

The Awami League leader was speaking to journalists after paying tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his grave in Gopalganj’s Tungiparha. The ruling party has kicked off a 40-day-long programme on Saturday to mark the National Mourning Day on Aug 15, agency reports.

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