The BNP is actually afraid of Sheikh Hasina's popularity and the party fears that if contested in the election it will lose, said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.
"Awami League never wants to win uncontested. It believes in participatory elections. Participation in polls is the political right of all parties. It is not a chance; it is a right. BNP does not want to join the polls because it is afraid of defeat," Quader said," he told reporters at a briefing in his residence in Dhaka on Thursday.
In a press briefing at his ancestral home in the Kalibari area of Thakurgaon city on Wednesday, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "After coming to power, the Awami League government has destroyed the country's electoral system as the ruling party has no intension to contest any election now."
At the press conference, Fakhrul also replied to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's question - if the BNP comes to power, who will be the head of the government?
To that, Fakhrul said, "BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will be the prime minister. In her absence, the party's acting chairman Tarique Rahman will become the prime minister."
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, on Thursday responded to some of Fakhrul's remarks.
On Tarique Rahman, who was sentenced to multiple years in prison for corruption and currently staying in London, Quader said, who fled the country on the condition of not doing politics again? How can such a fugitive convict become the leader of BNP?
"BNP is a recognised terrorist group at home and abroad. A Canadian court has also identified BNP as a terrorist group. Awami League is an organisation made of this country's soil and people. The position of the Sheikh Hasina government and Awami League against terrorism and communal forces is very strict," he said responding to Fakhrul's criticism of the Awami League.
"Terrorism is perpetrated by those who fail in movements and elections. Those who do not have any positive programmes for public welfare choose terror and conspiracy as tools to come to power, which is what the BNP is currently doing," the Awami League leader said.
"They just want to denigrate the Election Commission and conduct deliberate activities to question the electoral system as well. Did they take anyone's opinion in forming the commission during their time? Was there any dialogue with any political party?" Quader added.