Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday warned that those who will not participate in the upcoming parliamentary election will have to embrace the fate similar to Maulana Bhashani's.
Maulana Bhashani did not take part in the general election of 1970 as he wanted to liberate the country by “kicking out the ballot box”, he said. On the other hand, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the people's mandate through contesting the election, earned the right to declare independence of the country, and created history, he said.
“So, the parties which will stay away from the polls will one day become non-existent like Maulana Bhashani's political party,” Tofail told a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh in Dhaka. Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee arranged the discussion marking “Constitution Day”.
An independent Bangladesh adopted its first constitution on November 4, 1972.
A senior leader of the Awami League, Tofail hoped that the newly formed political alliance Jatiya Oikyafront under the leadership of Dr Kamal Hossain will participate in the upcoming parliamentary election due on December 23.
He also urged all other political parties to join.
The veteran politician also said if his party can form the government next time, they will take an initiative to observe November 4 as “Constitution Day” nationally.
On the recent spree of arrests of opposition leaders and activists, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave her word that no one will be arrested without specific accusation. So, police do not arrest those who are not accused in a case, he added.
At the discussion, speakers demanded trial and punishment of those who were instrumental behind “tearing apart” the country's constitution after the 1975 bloodbath.
Nirmul Committee President Shahriar Kabir criticised Dr Kamal Hossain for forming the new alliance Oikyafront, and said he has joined those guilty of committing crimes.