AL ready for talks with opposition to consolidate democracy: Syed Ashraful Islam

Awami League General Secretary and LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam today said Awami League is ready for dialogue with the opposition to smooth the path of democracy. “We have said the next general elections would be held under an interim government. But, we are ready for talks, if the opposition wants, to consolidate democracy “he said while briefing newsmen on a meeting of the 14-party alliance at the AL president’s Dhanmondi office. “The caretaker government system has been scrapped in accordance with an apex court verdict. There is no scope for restoring the system. But, the path of holding talks is still open. Dialogue would be held on formation of the interim government,” Syed Ashraf said. “The next election will be held with the way the democratic countries hold their polls. It will be held in line with the constitution,” he said. “BNP made the caretaker government flawed after making amendment to the constitution to increase retirement age of the justice for making their party candidate its chief,” he added. Ashraf also mentioned that the Alliance leaders had lent their consent to Awami League President Sheikh Hasina’s declaration that the government would govern during the next national election. However, Local Government and Rural Development Ashraf alleged that the media had misrepresented the statement. “The Prime Minister did not say Awami League would govern during the election. The Grand Alliance is in the government and it is under the Grand Alliance government that the election will be held,” he said.

With Deputy Leader of the House, AL Presidium Member and Coordinator of the 14-party alliance Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury in the chair, the meeting started around 11.15am and lasted about three hours. It discussed the current law and order, social, economic and political matters. The meeting decided to strengthen the alliance at the grassroots to fight unitedly all sorts of conspiracy and anarchy being hatched by a vested quarter, meeting sources said.

Among others, AL Advisory Council member and Minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta, Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, Information and Research Secretary Advocate Afzal Hossain, Workers Party General Secretary Anisur Rahman Mallik, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal General Secretary Sharif Nurul Ambia and National Awami Party General Secretary Enamul Huq were present at the meeting.