BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said there is a consensus among all except the Awami League that there can be no election held under the current government, and urged it to resign and hand over power to a non-partisan and neutral administration to arrange the election.
"We are protesting in a peaceful and non-violent way. This is your opportunity to consider our demands and step down," he said.
The BNP secretary general made the call during his address at a rally in Chattogram's Mirsharai during the party's road march from Cumilla to Chittagong on Thursday.
He also called on the government to facilitate the citizens' ability to cast their votes and elect their own government.
"The people have taken an oath not to vote for the current government," he added.
Expressing concern over the recent development surrounding BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's treatment, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said: "Our leader is currently facing a serious illness and is being denied access to the necessary medical treatment."
"We are committed to securing Begum Zia's freedom through a dedicated movement," Fakhrul said. "The government has imprisoned Begum Khaleda Zia, the mother of democracy, on fabricated charges. She must be acquitted from these baseless allegations and safeguarded."
He also called for a robust movement to secure the quashing of unfounded charges on which BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman he said was convicted, and to facilitate his return to the country.
During his address, Fakhrul accused the Awami League of encroaching upon the rights of the people.
"The people's voting rights have been undermined. We've witnessed two previous elections. We'll not allow them to manipulate the upcoming election as they did in the past," said the BNP leader.
Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, a member of the BNP standing committee, also spoke during the event.
"Today, people have rallied in the streets along the youth's march from Cumilla to Chattogram. The government currently has no friends abroad, nor at home," he said.
"It is imperative to remove this government from power. There will be no tolerance for those who engage in election fraud in this country," he added.
Mirza Fakhrul said, 'There is still time, resign peacefully. We have made it clear, our point is one, demand is one. There will be no election under you. You will resign, dissolve parliament. Transfer power to a non-partisan government and hold elections through a new Election Commission. People will form a new government, form a parliament.
Earlier in the day, BNP leaders and activists commenced their road march from Noakhali to Cumilla, Feni, and Mirsharai in Chattogram, to push for their demand for the government's resignation, elections under a non-partisan, neutral government, and the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
The road march arrived at the port city in the evening. Despite challenging weather conditions, thousands of BNP leaders and activists joined the march.During the road march, BNP leaders addressed two rallies in Feni and Mirsharai.
Presided over by Mirsharai Upazila BNP Convener Shahidul Islam Chowdhury and moderated by Member Secretary Gazi Nizam Uddin, the meeting was attended, among others, by BNP Vice Chairman Barkatullah Bulu, Md Shahjahan, Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon, Relief Affairs Secretary Belal Ahmed, Central Saif Mahmud Jewel, Chattogram North District BNP Joint Convener Nurul Amin, Nurul Amin Chairman, Fatikchhari Upazila BNP Convener Colonel (retd) Azim.