BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said expecting a fair election under the present government is like keeping a chicken in the custody of a fox.

“The Awami League is the most deceitful party that does the opposite of what it says. They told the US pre-election assessment mission that they held the last two elections fairly and we’ll do the same in the next polls again,” he said.

Speaking at a convention of students, the BNP leader said the Awami regime held a nice election in 2014 where 153 MPs were elected uncontested while the voting was held in 2018 the night before the election day.

“They’re now saying to keep confidence in them as they will again hold a fair election. It’s like keeping a chicken in the custody of a fox. You can’t be given any more chance. Enough is enough,” he said.

Fakhrul lamented that the government destroyed the economy as the country would not have dollars to import goods as the reserves were falling drastically.

Student Unity Against Fascism, a platform of 15 student bodies of different opposition parties, led by Chhatra Dal, arranged the student convention at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh. Several thousand students from different educational institutions in the capital joined the program.

Fakhrul said Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina is going to different countries as part of her efforts to hang onto power and tackle the foreign pressure to hold a credible election.

“I would like to say your time is up and no maneuvering will do as people have got fed up with your misrule. They (people) want to get rid of repression, stealing and corruption. So, still, there’s time to accept our demand for holding the election under a non-party neutral government,” he said.

The BNP leader questioned why the government is afraid of a fair election when it claims to have popularity among people for its development activities.

Fakhrul said the students changed society and established people’s rights through democratic movements in the past. “We’re now hopeful about the success of our movement as the students now again got united with a goal to defeat the fascist force.”

He said they have been on a tough struggle to oust the fascist regime that turned Bangladesh into hell by destroying the hopes and aspirations of people.

Fakhrul said BNP's Publicity Secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anee was arrested from his house in the dead of the night by breaking the door of his house. They brutally tortured him in custody. 

“We can’t even imagine the way a former MP and an ex-student leader Anee was illegally attacked and tortured by the puppets of the government.”

He strongly condemned the unlawful police action against the former MP by the law enforcers. “It’s shameful for us and for the students.”

The BNP leader said Anne sent out a message to people not to remain silent by telling the court that even the thieves and robbers are not beaten the way he was tortured by police.

Fakhrul said there is no alternative to put up a strong resistance against the government to get rid of repressive acts and the ongoing fascist rule.

“Only the slogans will not work. We have to swoop on the movement and take control over the university campuses and educational institutions to establish our rights and oust the government,” he said.

Nagorik Oikko convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said the government is going to buy modern vehicles for the DCs and UNOs as part of its move to appease the government officials ahead of the election.

He called upon the students to take to the streets to ensure the fall of the government before the next general election. “We must turn victorious in the movement against the fascist regime.”

Bangladesh-er Biplobi Workers Party General Secretary Saiful Haque said the government is jailing and repressing the opposition leaders as it has lost the capacity to face its opponents politically.

He alleged that the government is pushing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia towards death out of political vengeance.