Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said the next general elections will be held on time to consolidate democracy and to advance it (democracy) ahead.
"It is their own matter who will join the polls . . . the train of elections waits for none. And the next polls will be held on time to consolidate the democracy," he told reporters at the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat in the capital.
The minister said the train of elections was not waiting for anyone in 2014. Even, BNP was in confusion whether they would take part in 2018's polls or not though they took part in the elections later, he added.
"So, the train of elections would not wait for anyone," said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
Replying to query over a comment of BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on the foreign minister's request to the US authority to bring BNP to the next polls, the minister said the BNP is afraid of elections and the foreign minister told it in front of media as they (BNP) go to foreigners repeatedly on any issue. He (foreign minister) didn't discuss the matter with the US state officials, Hasan added.
He said, "It is his (FM) personal statement not our party's or government's."
The minister said the BNP goes to foreigners for every issue. Even, the BNP wrote letters to the congressman to reevaluate the assistance which is given to Bangladesh and Begum Khaleda Zia wrote an article in the Washington Times on this issue, he added.
In fact, he said, the BNP is afraid of elections. "Even they boycotted the local government polls including Union Parishads. And it is not our responsibility to allay their fear. There is no alternative to polls to the politicians who believe in democracy, democratic system and the verdict of people," he added.
The minister hoped that the BNP would take part in the next polls overcoming the fear of elections.
Replying to another query over BNP leader Ishraq Hossain, the minister said he (Ishraq) is a warranted accused of an explosive case in 2019. "Besides, he was also accused of other cases. For this, he was arrested," said Hasan.