Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said she will offer tea to the BNP leaders and give them a patient hearing even if they come to seize her office (Prime Minister's Office) as she believes in democracy.

"I will offer them tea, I will give them a place to sit. I will listen to them whatever they want to say. Look, I believe in democracy," she said.

The prime minister said this while speaking at a meeting of her Awami League party's Dhaka North and South units.

The meeting was held at AL's central office at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue, while the PM, also the Awami League president, joined it virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

She, however, warned that stern actions will be taken if BNP leaders and activists resort to hurling bombs and vandalism in the name of political programmes.

"But, if they hurl bombs and engage in vandalism they will get a befitting reply. That is the reality," she said.

Hasina said that she has directed the police not to put barricades on their way even if BNP wants to seize the Prime Minister office.

"Especially the barricade at Banglamotor has been withdrawn completely. There is no restriction on their (BNP) procession, wherever they want they can go by foot," she said.

The AL supremo once again questioned about the leadership of BNP. "Who is running the party now, she asked

"As per the constitution of BNP, no convicted criminal can be the leader of the party. But BNP is doing that," she said.

She said that a leader of the BNP, who is also convicted, has been living abroad lavishly with the money he embezzled from the country.

Hasina dismissed BNP leaders' allegation that the government does not allow them to speak.

"After speaking all day, they allege that they are not allowed to speak," she said.

"Let them speak. Someone has to speak," she said.

The PM observed that the number of participants in BNP's processions is very much insignificant.

"But they allege that people are not allowed to participate in their processions. Why will people participate in their political programmes," she questioned.

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