BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Thursday claimed that many of the ruling Awami League leaders have started fleeing the country sensing that they will not be able to hold the next polls unilaterally using the law enforcers.

"Election by using the police will no longer be held in the country. The people of the country won't let it happen. We've heard many of their (AL's) leaders and activists have started leaving the country," he said.

Speaking at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader also said many other Awami League leaders, including its general secretary Obaidul Quader, have already collected visas in their passports to leave the country anytime.

Rizvi said the ruling party leaders and activists know it very well that people will not cast their votes for the boat, the election symbol of the Awami League. "Only police can give their votes to ensure the victory of Sheikh Hasina and Awami League, but voters won't do this."

He also said Sheikh Hasina was elected by the votes of police in 2014 and 2018. "They (AL leaders) are trying to hold that type of election in the coming days. But that plan will not be implemented this time. It won't be possible to hold the next election by force. As the Awami League leaders and workers understood it, they kept their visas ready as they might leave the country anytime."

The BNP leader said it is the tradition and trait of the Awami League to usurp power by holding unilateral elections and snatching the people's rights.

He said people have woken up to regain ownership of the country and get back the voting rights snatched by the Awami League.

Rizvi said the government has got so afraid of losing power that it arrested over 300 leaders and workers of BNP and its associate bodies centring Wednesday's public rally of the party in the capital.

"The government took a foul strategy to obstruct our leaders and activists from joining our rally. But what have they gained? A mass wave was created at Nayapaltan yesterday (Wednesday) foiling all the nasty strategies of the government," he said.

He strongly condemned and protested the arrest of the BNP leaders and activists and demanded their immediate release.BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia's special assistant Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, Information Affairs Secretary Azizul Bari Helal, Volunteer Affairs Secretary Mir Sarafat Ali Sapu and others were present at the press conference.