Sheikh Hasina has dismissed the possibility of sitting for talks with the BNP, saying she cannot have dialogue with people convicted of corruption and killings.
Speaking at a council of Bangladesh Mohila Awami League in Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan on Saturday, the prime minister said she has no problem if the BNP does not contest in the next general election.
“Those people who do not have the strength to run in elections will stay away from polls, but the public will cast their votes.”
The ruling Awami League chief made the remarks as the BNP is holding rallies in major cities demanding her resignation as prime minister before the next parliamentary election to be held by the end of 2023 or early 2024. The opposition party demands a caretaker government to oversee the election.
“Many are saying that a dialogue should be held. With whom? The BNP, Khaleda Zia and Tarique [Rahman]? They are convicts. They tried to kill me in a grenade attack,” Hasina said.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was jailed for corruption. She is currently out on a suspended sentence.
Tarique, acting chairman of the party, was sentenced to jail for corruption and for masterminding the Aug 21, 2004 grenade attack targeting Hasina.
“And Ziaur Rahman [late BNP founder and Khaleda’s husband] was my father’s killer. Should I sit with them for a dialogue?” the prime minister said.
“How dare they speak about human rights now?”
Addressing the leaders and activists of the women’s wing of the Awami League, Hasina described her government’s efforts to ensure equal participation of women in politics and other fields.
Citing the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, she said Bangladesh is first in South Asia and 65th in the world.
“We’ve been able to close the gender gap.”