HOMNA, (Comilla) March 13 (BSS): Prime Minister Khaleda Zia Monday criticised the main opposition party for clinging to the politics of destruction in the name of agitation, defying her proposal for talks on their demand for electoral reforms.
"In the Jatiya Sangsad I proposed the formation of a committee with members of both the benches to discuss the opposition demand for reforms of caretaker system... But they (opposition) did not accept it. They are calling hartal and damaging vehicles in the street, setting fire to properties and pelting stones on law enforcers," she told a rally at the Homna Ideal High School ground in the afternoon.
The Prime Minister said the interim system of the caretaker government was introduced by the last BNP government at the demand of the Awami League and three nationally and internationally acclaimed elections were held under the system.
Under the system, all parties take part in polls from a level ground, she said. The Awami League, which came to power under this system in 1996, started disliking the arrangements and demanding reforms as soon as it was defeated in the 2001 polls, she added.
Referring to the opposition demand for not keeping the armed forces under the President during the interim period of caretaker government, Khaleda said the President remains the only elected representative that time. The President is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces and the army would remain under him that time too, she added.
The Prime Minister said the Awami League does not want deployment of the army during elections because it would be then unable to unleash terrorism and capture polling centres to rig votes.
Free and fair polls are possible not only under the caretaker government but also under the government of the BNP government, Khaleda said and referred to the victory of opposition Awami League candidates in the elections of Chittagong and Sylhet city corporations and other municipalities.
The Prime Minister said the main opposition party does not want free and fair polls but to go to power by any means. No unreasonable demands in the name of electoral reforms can, however, be accepted, she added.
The Prime Minister highlighted some of her government's development activities in a number of sectors, including agriculture, health, communication, rural electrification and welfare of freedom fighters and urged the people to vote for the BNP-led alliance in the next polls to continue the present trend of development.