At least 39 registered and unregistered political parties, including the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, on Thursday demanded the cancellation of the schedule of the 12th parliamentary election.

The parties made the demand at a joint meeting held at the Shishu Kalyan Parishad auditorium at Topkhana Road in the capital.

‘We, the opposition political parties active in the street movement, have been agitating for a free, fair, impartial, and credible election in the country for a long time. That is why we are simultaneously in a movement to demand the resignation of the Awami League government before the 12th parliamentary elections, a neutral interim government during the election period, the dissolution of the parliament, the release of all the prisoners sentenced and arrested in political cases, including BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, and the reform of the existing undemocratic state, government system, and constitution. These demands have already become public demands,’ the parties said in a joint statement.

It said that the government as well as the ruling Awami League planned violence and sabotage to foil the grand rally of the opposition parties, including the BNP, on October 28 after being alarmed by this protest movement.

‘By placing this responsibility on the opposition, including the BNP, they have established a reign of terror across the country in the past month in the form of suppression and arrest. We express our deepest condolences to those who lost their lives in these brutalities of the government and the government party. We express our sympathy to the families of those killed, injured, and imprisoned,’ it said.

‘We are observing with amazement that the government is planning another one-sided blueprint election like in 2014 and 2018, ignoring the public demand for resignation. To implement this political agenda of the government, the Election Commission has announced the schedule of the 12th parliamentary election on January 7 as a supporter of the government,’ it said.

‘We reject this election schedule, which stands against the democratic right of the people to vote,’ it said, adding that they also called for the immediate resignation of the Awami League government and the establishment of a neutral interim government for conducting a free, impartial, participatory, and credible parliamentary election.

BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Nagrik Oikya president Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD general secretary Shahid Uddin Mahmud Swapan, Ganosamhati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki, Bhasani Anusari Parishad convener Sheikh Rafiqul Islam Bablu, Gano Forum general secretary Subrata Chowdhury, Revolutionary Workers Party general secretary Saiful Haque, Gono Odhikar Parishad president Nurul Haque Nur, Bangladesh Labor Party chairman Mostafizur Rahman Iran, National People’s Party chairman Fariduzzaman Farhad, Gono Dal chairman ATM Golam Mawla Chowdhury, Jagpa president Khandaker Lutfar Rahman, Rastra Sangskar Andolon chief coordinator Hasnat Qayyum, Jamiat Ulamae Islam Bangladesh secretary general Mufti Mohiuddin Ikram, Bangladesh NAP chairman MN Shaun Sadeqi, Bangladesh Islamic Party secretary general M Abul Kashem, Liberal Democratic Party presidium member M Neyamul Bashir, Progressive Democratic Party general secretary Harun Al Rashid Khan, Bangladesh Samyabadi Dal (ML) general secretary Harun Chowdhury, Bangladesh People’s Party co-chairman Parveen Nasser Bhashani, National Awami Party (NAP Bhasani) chairman Azharul Islam, Bangladesh Jatiya Party vice chairman Shamsul Ahad, Islami Oikya Jot’s Maulana Abdul Karim and National Democratic Party senior vice president Rashed Pradhan were present at the meeting.