Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has called Gono Forum General Secrtary Mostafa Mohsin Montu after the ruling party agreed to sit for talks with the Jatiya Oikya Front alliance. The ruling party leader invited the Oikya Front leaders to a dinner at the Ganabhaban, the official residence of Awami League chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in the phone conversation on Monday, Montu told bdnews24.com.
Quader told a news conference earlier in the day that Hasina accepted Front chief and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossains call for talks before the schedule of the 11th parliamentary elections is announced.
The Front leaders sat at senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmeds chamber later to discuss the development, which Quader described as a “pleasant surprise for the entire nation”.
Moudud told the media that the Front welcomed Hasinas decision.
Montu said he received Quaders call around 8:15pm.
“He wanted to know how many leaders will be in the Front delegation during the talks. Ive told him well let them know (Tuesday),” he said.
Quader also told Montu that a formal letter inviting the Front leaders to the Ganabhaban would be sent on Tuesday.
Montu, a former chief of the Awami Leagues youth front Bangladesh Jubo League, thinks the dialogue can be held on Wednesday.
Quader could not be reached for comments on the call as he was in parliament.
Another Awami League leader confirmed to bdnews24.com that Quader had indeed spoken to Montu and the ruling party would send the invitation letter on Tuesday.
Besides the Gono Forum and the BNP, ASM Abdur Rabs Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD and Mahmudur Rahman Mannas Nagorik Oikya are in the Front formed on Oct 13.
They have placed a seven-point charter of demand for fair polls. The demands include dissolution of parliament and release of jailed BNP chief Khaleda Zia before holding the general elections with a nonpartisan government in power.
Though the ruling party continues to reject the demands, which had earlier been raised by the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami alliance, Quader on Monday said the Awami League agreed to sit as the Front wanted it, but not under any pressure.
On Sunday, Dr Kamal wrote to Hasina and Quader, calling them for the talks to “end the political crisis”.