Bangladesh's opposition leader Khaleda Zia has demanded that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should test her popularity by holding a mid-term parliamentary poll.
"The people have already lost their confidence in the government," Zia, a two-term prime minister, told a lawyer's forum close to her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Tuesday.
Citing a survey report on the Hasina government's performance, Zia said: "98% people favoured holding of mid-term polls."
"The government is now in an awkward situation. People have shown their no-confidence in this government," the New Age newspaper quoted her as saying.
Zia alleged that the government was not holding election to the Dhaka city corporation as it feared a repeat of its debacle in the Chittagong city corporation polls in which the Awami League city mayor had lost.
The call for mid-term poll was given earlier this week by the BNP's secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain.
The Daily Star in an editorial said Zia and the BNP had boycotted parliament and that gave no reassurance to the voter, should there be a mid-term poll.
Zia and her Islamist allies lost the last parliamentary poll in December 2008, yielding a whopping two-thirds majority to a Hasina-led alliance.